India's GDP advance estimate for FY14 at 4.9%, worst may not be over

Feb 08 2014, 08:52 IST
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Advance estimate of national income for 2013-14 pegs gross domestic product (GDP) growth for the year at just 4.9%. Advance estimate of national income for 2013-14 pegs gross domestic product (GDP) growth for the year at just 4.9%.
SummaryIndia’s economic growth remains stunted owing to a pervasive demand slump amid high inflation

the revenue spending. Overall, consumption, which contributes around 70% to the near $1.8-trillion economy, is expected to grow 4.4% in 2013-14, down from 5.2% in the previous year.

Analysts said the contraction in manufacturing could drag down the annual growth in the services sector, which accounts for roughly 60% of GDP, to 6.9% in 2013-14 from 7% a year before. “The data have a message for the next government after the general elections — stimulate demand and fix manufacturing, or be a witness to low growth," said Madan Sabnavis, chief economist at CARE Ratings. He said talks about the bottoming out of the economic slowdown are premature now, at least until the recent clearances of projects bears fruit. Elevated inflation has dampened demand, while high borrowing costs have affected investment, he added.

The mining sector continues to perform badly and is expected to end this fiscal with a 1.9% contraction, compared with 2.2% slump a year before, reflecting the adverse impact of curbs on iron ore mining in Karnataka, Goa and Orissa. With the utilities sectors also faring badly, key inputs remained expensive and in short supply. A projected 6% expansion in the electricity sector from 2.3% a year earlier was a notable plus point.

A somewhat subdued growth rate of construction at 1.7% from 1.1% in 2012-13 and lower pace of expansion in trade, hotels, transport and communications also pointed to the fact that the services sector worsened the woes for the economy as it failed to offset the damage done by the industrial segments.

CII director general Chandrajit Banerjee said: “With demand not showing visible signs of a pick-up owing to weak consumption, investment and government expenditure, the green shoots of recovery have yet to become apparent.” The current growth numbers makes it imperative for the government to do more to get stalled projects off the ground, both in the infrastructure and manufacturing sectors, remove hurdles in the mining sector and create a conducive environment for the revival of the manufacturing sector, he added. Ficci president Sidharth Birla said: “Though the Cabinet Committee on Investments has cleared a whole lot of projects last year, the real test of performance lies in their actualisation.”

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