Indian economic growth hits highest rate in nearly two years

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It also means India continues to grow faster than China, which posted growth of 6.8% in the first quarter of 2018.

According to the provisional estimates of national income, the growth rate of GDP at constant (2011-12) prices for the financial year 2017-18 was estimated at 6.7 percent, while, at the sectoral level, the growth rate of GVA at constant (2011-12) prices for agriculture and allied sectors, industry and services sectors for the year 2017-18 were estimated at 3.4 percent, 5.5 percent, and 7.9 percent respectively.

Union Finance Minister Piyush Goyal on Thursday said Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth has been increasing continuously every quarter with growth of 7.7% in Q4 of 2017-18.

The farm sector also grew at a healthy rate of 4.5 per cent, while construction activity, powered by government investments in the highways sector, clocked a double digit growth of 11.5 per cent to give a fillip to the economy.

On Wednesday, Moody's Investors Service report had cut India's GDP growth forecast to 7.3 per cent from previous forecast of 7.5 per cent due to higher oil prices and tighter financial conditions. Economic Affairs Secretary Subhash Chandra Garg said on Monday it was expected that annual growth was between 7.3 and 7.5 percent in the March quarter.

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Real GVA (at basic constant 2011-12 prices for 2017-18) is now estimated at Rs 119.76 lakh crore, showing a growth rate of 6.5 per cent over first revised estimates of GVA for 2016-17 of Rs 112.48 lakh crore. With a year to go for the general elections, a pick-up in growth could not have been better timed, from the Centre's point of view. The pickup in growth surely offers a boost to prime minister Narandra Modi, who will be seeking a second term next year. Manufacturing and agriculture sector also recorded growth.

"Seems like we have moved beyond the teething troubles related to GST implementation", said Tushar Arora, a senior economist at HDFC Bank.

The gross value addition (GVA) for the January-March quarter expanded at 7.6 per cent from from 6 per cent a year ago, data showed.

DOWNSIDE RISKS: The recovery could be threatened by higher global crude oil prices, which this month hit $80 a barrel, their highest since 2014. "The banking sector remains in a fragile state, and such problems have the potential to derail the ongoing growth recovery".

Though March quarter figures suggest that the economy is rebounding, doubts remain over whether it can sustain the pace amid surging oil prices and a fast depreciating rupee.

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