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Financial News: India Growth Strongly Rebounds In September Qtr

India Growth Strongly Rebounds In September Qtr

11/30/2017 - 09:19:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - India's economic growth regained momentum in the three months to September as the dust settled after the roll out of the Goods and Sales Tax that led to the slowest expansion in three years in the previous quarter.

Gross domestic product grew 6.3 percent year-on-year following 5.7 percent increase in the three months to June, preliminary data from the Central Statistics Office showed Thursday. Economists had forecast 6.4 percent expansion.

The gross value added, which is the Reserve Bank of India's preferred measure of economic growth, rose 6.1 percent year-on-year after 5.6 percent in the June quarter. Economists were looking for 6.2 percent growth.

Latest figures suggest a significant trend reversal in growth rates, indicating it is returning to more normal levels, after five quarters of declining trend, the government's Chief Statistician TCA Anant said.

"It is very encouraging," he added.

The official also noted that manufacturing growth was one of the main reasons for the latest boost in economic growth.

Manufacturing growth strengthened to 7 percent from 1.2 percent. Mining and quarrying recovered strongly with 5.5 percent growth after a 0.7 percent decline.

Utility sector growth improved to 7.6 percent from 7 percent. Construction sector growth increased modestly to 2.6 percent from 2 percent.

In contrast, the pace of growth slowed in the farm sector and the trade and hotel industry. Expansion also eased in financial services and public administration.

Finance Secretary Hasmukh Adhia said the latest GDP figure may be revised higher later on as there is likely to be an underestimation of indirect taxes in the current calculation.

"Elements of today's data are hard to square with evidence from other indicators," Capital Economics economist Shilan Shah said.

"But the broad trajectory of a pick-up in growth seems reasonable, and we think the economy will continue to strengthen over the coming quarters."

Earlier this month, Moody's Investors Service raised the sovereign ratings of India for the first time since 2004, citing economic and institutional reforms.

However, Standard & Poor's maintained the country's sovereign ratings at the lowest investment grade with a 'stable' outlook.

Sizable fiscal deficits, a high general government debt burden and low per capita income detract from the sovereign credit profile, the agency said. The agency last raised the ratings on India to 'BBB-' in January 2007.

The robust growth figures are unlikely to prompt the RBI to ease rates further as inflation is expected rise in coming months. The central bank's policy announcement is scheduled for December 6.

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