Economy likely to grow by 5.5-6% in 2012-13: Rajan

Economy likely to grow by 5.5-6% in 2012-13: Rajan New Delhi: The economy is likely to grow at 5.5-6 percent this fiscal with a marginal improvement in the second half of the current financial year, Chief Economic Advisor Raghuram Rajan said here on Saturday.

"I would be surprised if there is more deterioration (in growth rate) from here ... The numbers that have been talked about are in the 5.5-6 percent range. And I feel comfortable sitting with that," he told reporters on the sidelines of the Ficci AGM here.

Industrial output bounced back to 8.2 percent in the month of October, against a contraction of 5 percent in the corresponding month a year ago.

"I think it is too early to say confidently that the economy has turned the corner ... Given that the beginning of the announcements that increased confidence, buoyancy in the stock markets started in September, this creates an environment for business to start investing," Rajan said.

The government has taken a number of policy decisions since September including liberalising of the FDI norms for multi-brand retail and civil aviation sector.

Economic growth during the first half of current fiscal stood at 5.4 percent against 7.3 percent during the corresponding period of previous year.

The economic growth slowed to a nine year low of 6.5 percent in 2011-12 and this year, too, the GDP growth, as per RBI's estimates, is likely to be 5.8 percent. In the three years preceding the 2008 global economic crisis, India was growing at a rate of more than 9 percent.

Rajan said the government would do its best to stick to the 5.3 percent fiscal deficit target for the current fiscal.

"We have to be careful about everything we spend on. Thats how we are going to get back on fiscal track, being careful," he added.

PTI