India’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth slowed to a four-quarter low of 4.1% during the January-March period, from 5.4% in the preceding quarter, as manufacturing output shrank, provisional national income estimates released on Tuesday show. As a result, full-year growth came in at 8.7% — a tad lower than the 8.9% pace projected in February.
Gross Value-Added (GVA) in the economy is estimated to have grown 8.1% in 2021-22, slightly lower than the 8.3% projected by the National Statistical Office (NSO) earlier. The GDP had shrunk 6.6% in 2020-21, while the GVA had contracted 4.8% in the wake of the COVID-19 lockdowns.
The Finance Ministry said the latest national income estimates ‘establish full economic recovery’ as real GDP in 2021-22 exceeded the pre-pandemic levels of 2019-20. On a quarter-to-quarter basis, it argued real GDP growth was 6.7% in the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2021-22, reflecting a ‘sustained growth momentum’ entering the current fiscal year.
The contact-dependent and employment-intensive trade, hotels, transport, communication & services related to broadcasting sector continued to languish below pre-pandemic levels, ending FY22 still 11.3% lower than 2019-20 GVA levels.
Overall GVA growth slowed to 3.9% in the January-March 2022 quarter, from 4.7% in the preceding period. Worryingly, manufacturing sector output shrank 0.2% from a year earlier.