"We anticipated that growth in the second half would improve, and I am happy that our assessment has come true"

Union Finance Minister P. Chidamabaram said on Saturday that the Central Statistical Office’s estimate of Gross Domestic Product growth of 4.9 percent for 2013-14 “will in all likelihood be revised upward in the first, second and final revisions in the next two years.”

“I am confident that the final estimate will be not less than 5 per cent for the whole year,” he said in a statement.

The CSO estimate, released on Friday, meant growth in the second half of the year was better than what it was in the first half, Mr. Chidambaram said. “We anticipated that growth in the second half would improve, and I am happy that our assessment has come true.”

A member of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s Economic Advisory Council, however, disagreed with Mr. Chidambaram.

The member told The Hindu on the condition of anonymity that it was too early to conclude the “economy has bottomed out.” “It is possible that the CSO’s estimate is higher than what was expected because it might be preparing to revise upwards the growth figures for the first half of the year (from 4.6 per cent) rather than because it expects the economy to improve in the second half,” the member said. The CSO will release on February 28 the revised figures for the GDP growth during the first half of the current fiscal or April-September 2013.

Below potential: CII

The Confederation of Indian Industry, however, said the estimate was still below potential and the growth would have been lower had it not been for the favourable base effect of last year.

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