CSO underestimates GDP; growth likely to be 5.5%: Fin Min

CSO underestimates GDP; growth likely to be 5.5%: Fin Min New Delhi: Finance Ministry on Friday said the CSO has underestimated GDP growth rate for current financial year and exuded the confidence that economic expansion will exceed 5.5 percent.

"It is likely that the advance estimates of 5 percent will be revised and the final estimate will be closer to the government's estimate of a growth rate of 5.5 percent or slightly more," the Finance Ministry said.

The Central Statistical Organisation (CSO) has "probably underestimated" the growth for the current fiscal and estimates are likely to be revised upwards in the final projections, the ministry said in a statement.

In advance estimates for 2012-13, the CSO has projected economic growth rate of 5 percent, the lowest in the decade. In the previous fiscal GDP grew by 6.2 percent.

The finance ministry said CSO's advanced estimates have often been revised either upwards or downwards because it takes into account the data till November or December.

"... This makes its estimates accurate when GDP growth is following a trend, but not when it is turning. So, for example, growth was overestimated as the economy slowed in 2008-09 and 2011-12, while it is probably underestimated now," the statement said.

The finance ministry had earlier projected a growth rate of 5.7-5.9 percent, while the Reserve Bank in its latest review has pegged it at 5.5 percent for the current fiscal.

Quoting various data, the ministry said that there are signs of recovery and upturn in the economy. It said the Purchasing Manager's Index (manufacturing) has started moving up since October 2012 and industrial output too has started stabilising.

The growth in excise duty and service tax collection was also high at 16 percent and of 33 percent respectively in April-December 2012. Moderation in inflation to 7.2 percent also shows early signs of economic upturn.

PTI