India registered an increase of 8.2 per cent in its gross domestic product during the first quarter of the financial year 2018-19. The Indian economy managed a strong show in the April-June quarter of the current fiscal on the back of strong performance by manufacturing and construction sectors. as well as a favourable base.
"GDP at constant (2011-12) prices in Q1 of 2018-19 is estimated at Rs 33.74 lakh crore, as compared to Rs 31.18 lakh crore in Q1 of 2017-18, showing a growth rate of 8.2 percent. Quarterly GVA at basic price at constant (2011-2012) prices for Q1 of 2018-19 is estimated Rs 31.63 lakh crore, as against Rs 29.29 lakh crore in Q1 of 2017-18, showing a growth rate of 8.0 percent over the corresponding quarter of previous year," said a statement by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation.
Back in 2015, the Indian government had shifted the base year for GDP calculation from 2004-05 to 2011-12 by updating the goods and services in the basket. Even with the updated base year, experts had been estimating the GDP growth to remain in the range of 7.5-7.6 per cent during the June quarter.
The GDP growth figure of 8.2 per cent means India is the fastest growing major economy in the world, and comes as a boost for Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government after demonetisation and GST had led to a slowdown in the economy. Earlier this month, China had reported a 6.7 per cent growth for June quarter compared with 6.8 per cent in March quarter.
GDP growth rate of 8.2 per cent in the June quarter is also the fastest in the past eight quarters. The previous best was 9.2 per cent in the July-September quarter in 2016. It had slowed down to 5.6 per cent in the April-June quarter in 2017, before picking up pace and touching 7.7 per cent in the July-September quarter in 2017.
External factors have been difficult for India with rising oil prices severely hitting the Indian rupee. India's current account deficit has also widened. Amid such troubles, the GDP figures come as a relief to the government. The GDP figures of June quarter are likely to be pivotal in the monetary policy meet scheduled on October 3-5.
The economic activities which registered year-on-year growth of more than 7 per cent during the June quarter are manufacturing, electricity, gas, water supply and other utility services, construction, and public administration, defence and other services, according to data by Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation.
'Agriculture, forestry and fishing', 'mining and quarrying', 'trade, hotels, transport, communication and services related to broadcasting', and 'financial, real estate and professional services' registered growth of 5.3 per cent, 0.1 per cent, 6.7 per cent, and 6.5 per cent respectively during this period.
Manufacturing remained the best of the lot with its quarterly GVA at basic prices for the quarter growing by 13.5 percent as compared to growth of (-) 1.8 per cent in corresponding quarter previous fiscal. The next sector to show the most promise was construction, which grew by 8.7 per cent during the quarter under review as compared to growth of 1.8 per cent in Q1 2017-18.
"GDP at current prices in Q1 of 2018-19 is estimated at Rs 44.33 lakh crore, as against Rs 38.97 lakh crore in Q1 of 2017-18, showing a growth rate of 13.8 percent. GVA at Basic Price at current prices in Q1 of 2018-19, is estimated at Rs 41.02 lakh crore, as against Rs 36.34 lakh crore in Q1, 2017-18, showing an increase of 12.9 per cent," said the Ministry's statement.