GDP growth plunges to 4.5%, lowest since 2012

Official says fundamentals are strong, numbers will pick up.

November 29, 2019 05:49 pm | Updated June 08, 2020 10:35 pm IST - New Delhi

A boy selling vegetables waits for customers in front of construction material for railway tracks at Navapura on the outskirts of Ahmedabad on November 28, 2019.

A boy selling vegetables waits for customers in front of construction material for railway tracks at Navapura on the outskirts of Ahmedabad on November 28, 2019.

Growth in the gross domestic product (GDP) in the July-September quarter hit a 25-quarter low of 4.5%, the government announced on Friday.

The lowest GDP growth in six years and three months comes as Parliament has been holding day-long discussions on the economic slowdown, with Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman assuring the Rajya Sabha that the country is not in a recession and may not ever be in one.

GVA dips to 4.3%

Growth in gross value added (GVA) also dipped to 4.3% in Q2 of 2019-20 from 4.9% in Q1, and 6.9% in the Q2 of last year.

According to the data released on Friday, the manufacturing sector contracted 1% in the second quarter of the current financial year, compared with a robust growth of 6.9% in the same quarter of the previous year. The manufacturing sector saw an overall contraction of 0.2% in the first half (April to September) of the current financial year compared to a growth of 9.4% in the first half of last year.

“We take note of announcement of the rate of GDP growth,” Economic Affairs Secretary Atanu Chakraborty told the media following the data release. “The fundamentals of the Indian economy remain strong and GDP growth is expected to pick up from the third quarter of FY 2019-20.”

 

He further highlighted the fact that the International Monetary Fund has projected India’s GDP growth at 6.1% in financial year 2019-20 and 7% in 2020-21 in its October 2019 report.

The agriculture sector saw growth coming in at 2.1% in second quarter of this year compared with 4.9% in Q2 of last year. The sector grew just 2.1% over the first six months of the year compared with 5% in the first half of the previous year.

Among the services sectors measured, only the ‘Public Administration, Defence & Other Services’ category saw growth quicken in the second quarter of this year, to 11.6%, compared with 8.6% in the same quarter of the previous year. The ‘Financial, Real Estate & Professional Services’ category saw growth slow to 5.8% in Q2 of 2019-20, compared with 7% in Q2 of the previous year.

Consumption grows

Private final consumption expenditure, the closest proxy in the data to a measure of consumption demand, grew 5.06% in the second quarter of this financial year, compared with a growth of 3.14% in the first quarter. However, the growth in the second quarter this year is still significantly lower than the growth of 9.79% recorded in the second quarter of the previous year.

Gross fixed capital formation, which is a measure of the level of investment in the country by both the government and the private sector, grew only 1.02% in the second quarter of this financial year, compared with a growth of 4.04% in the first quarter, and drastically lower than the growth of 11.8% seen in the Q2 of last year.

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