India’s growth dips to a six-year low

India’s GDP, fell to a six-year-low of 5 per cent for the quarter ended June 2019. If March quarter’s 5.8 per cent growth pushed India behind China, Friday’s data dispatch puts Asia’s third largest economy even behind Philippines and Indonesia in terms of real growth rate.

June quarter’s pedestrian economic expansion is several shades lower than the healthy 8 per cent recorded just a year before in June 2018. The previous low of sub-5 per cent was seen last in June 2013 when the economy grew at an anemic 4.9 per cent.

Worryingly, six out of the eight broad indicators used in GDP measurement sulked in June quarter over last year with manufacturing witnessing the lowest growth at 0.6 per cent, just a few notches away from slipping into the negative territory. Last year, manufacturing sector had put up a stellar show raking in 12.1 per cent growth.

Next in line were the usual suspects of agriculture and mining sectors, which grew at a dismal 2 and 2.7 per cent respectively. On the other hand, electricity and utility services and public administration (government revenue expenditure) were the guiding lights for the economy, having bettered their growth rates over the previous year.

In all, GDP in June quarter stood at Rs 35.85 lakh crore as against Rs 34.14 lakh crore a year before, registering a growth of 5 per cent. Gross value added – excluding subsidies and taxes – and considered as a far more reliable measure of national output stood at Rs 33.48 lakh crore compared to Rs 31.90 lakh crore, registering a growth of 4.9 per cent.

The economic activities which registered growth of over 7 per cent in Q1 of 2019-20 over Q1 of 2018-19 are ‘electricity, gas, water supply and other utility services’, ‘trade, hotels, transport, communication and services related to broadcasting’ and ‘public administration, defence and other services’.

The growth in the ‘agriculture, forestry and fishing’, ‘mining and quarrying’, ‘manufacturing’, ‘construction’ and ‘financial, real estate and professional services’ is estimated to be 2 per cent, 2.7 per cent, 0.6 per cent, 5.7 per cent, and 5.9 per cent, respectively, during this period.

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