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GDP growth falls to 4.5% in Q3; lowest quarterly growth in 10 years

Last Updated: Thursday, February 28, 2013 - 22:48

New Delhi: Hit by poor performance of farm, mining and manufacturing sector, economic growth in the October-December period of the current financial year slipped to 4.5 percent -- decade's lowest quarterly growth.

Concerned over the low growth, Finance Minister P Chidambaram Thursday said efforts are being made to achieve higher growth and hoped that GDP will grow by over 6 percent in the next financial year.

The GDP had grown by 6 percent in the October-December period of last fiscal.

The economic growth in the first nine months of this fiscal (April-December) stood at 5.1 percent, lower than 6.6 percent in the year-ago period.

The economy had grown by 5.5 percent and 5.3 percent in the first quarter and the second quarter, respectively, of 2012-13.

"The first half is 5.4. The second half must be below 5 if the prediction is 5 percent for the annual growth," Chidambaram said.

"The growth rate for the next year, I am as confident as my Chief Economic Advisor advises me to be confident. I am as confident as the advice given by the Prime Minister Economic Advisory Council," he said.

The Economic Survey of 2012-13 tabled in Parliament yesterday has predicted a growth rate of 6.1-6.7 percent for the next fiscal.

During October-December quarter of 2012-13, manufacturing sector grew marginally by 2.5 percent, against 0.7 percent growth in the same period of 2011-12, according to data released by the Central Statistical Organisation (CSO) today.

Farm sector output expanded by just 1.1 percent in the October-December period this fiscal, against 4.1 percent in the same quarter last fiscal.

Mining and quarrying sector, however, showed some improvement and contracted by 1.4 percent during the quarter, as against a decline in output by 2.6 percent in the third quarter of 2011-12.

Trade, hotels, transport and communications segment also witnessed lower pace of growth at 5.1 percent in the quarter against 6.9 percent in the same quarter in year ago.

The growth rate of electricity, gas and water supply also dipped to 4.5 percent in the third quarter, from 7.7 percent witnessed in the same quarter of 2011-12.

Construction sector expanded by 5.8 percent in Q3 of 2012-13, as against 6.9 percent in the year-ago period.

Growth rate of services sector, including insurance and real estate, stood at 7.9 percent in the third quarter, against 11.4 percent in same quarter last fiscal.

According to the CSO data, during April-December period of this fiscal manufacturing sector grew by just 1.2 percent against 3.6 percent in the same period last fiscal.

In the first nine months of the current fiscal, mining and quarrying marginally recovered to a growth of 0.1 percent from a contraction in the output by 2.8 percent.

The farm and allied sectors growth declined to 1.7 percent in the nine month period under review cent compared to 4.3 percent a year ago.

Electricity, gas and water supply segment growth plunged to 4.7 percent in the nine month of the current fiscal compared 7.6 percent in the same period in 2011-12.

Referring to fiscal deficit, the Finance Minister said that 4.8 percent target for 2013-14 is unlikely to be breached.

"I have said the 5.3 percent is the red line that cannot be breached. Likewise 4.8 is the red line for this year that cannot be breached," he said.

Commenting the GDP figures, Ficci said the numbers puts forth the persisting gloomy situation in the economy.

"Though some initial signs of optimism were indicated in the declining inflation numbers and a mild upturn was seen in exports, current GDP data has once again come as a mood dampener. It reaffirms the fact that we might just record a growth of 5 percent this financial year," Ficci President Naina Lal Kidwai said in a statement.

Assocham President Rajkumar Dhoot said that the figures reflect that the downslide of the Indian economy is yet to see the bottom and hence recovery remains elusive.

"Given the nature of policy proposals contained in the Union Budget for 2013-14, it seems that revival is going to be a long drawn process unlike in the case of 2009," he said.


First Published: Thursday, February 28, 2013 - 22:48
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