India’s economy to grow 7.6 percent in 2015/16, advance estimates show

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The Indian economy seems to be doing better than many would believe and is expected to expand by 7.6 percent in the current fiscal, higher than its previous year’s growth, advance estimates by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) showed.

India’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth came in at 7.2 per cent in 2014-15.

Quarterly numbers however looked bleak, as economic growth slowed in the last quarter of 2015, clocking 7.3 percent in the October-December period against 7.7 percent in September.

The rate of growth was higher than the 6.8 percent clocked by China in the same quarter, but several economists have been questioning India’s economic numbers ever since the government unveiled a new methodology that quickly spiked the figures higher.

The latest data did little to put those doubts to rest and if anything, raised further questions about its accuracy, a Reuters report said.

Economic growth for the April-June quarter, for example, was surprisingly marked up to 7.6 percent from a provisional 7 percent reported earlier, it said.

Similarly, annual manufacturing growth of 12.6 percent in the December quarter contrasted with other indicators — such as corporate order books, inventory ratios and factory capacity utilizations — that all pointed to weakening momentum, the news agency said.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is due to present his third annual budget to parliament on February 29, and economists and analysts believe that he will try and address severe rural distress and announce steps to attract more investments into India.

The CSO said it expected the agriculture, forestry and fishing sector to grow by 1.1 percent, a change from last fiscal’s contraction but not good enough to make a difference to a drought-affected farmer.

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