Slip sliding away, the sum of all our fears is equal to 5.3 per cent GDP growth for the quarter ended March 31, 2012. This confirms our worst suspicions and something that the policy mavens have refused to confront - India's economy is rapidly decelerating.
The full-year GDP for 2011-12 has dropped to 6.5 per cent, down from a healthy 8.4 per cent in the previous year, with manufacturing contracting acutely to minus 0.3 per cent in the fourth quarter.
The nine-year low number in GDP is a result of high interest rates choking consumer demand and dampening investor sentiment, while the paralysis in the government has held back big projects in the infrastructure sector.
More than that the absence of a pragmatic policy, a response to the Indian economy's structural inadequacies remains absent leaving the soft underbelly woefully exposed.
A combination of internal ineptitude and extraneous factors has eroded the steel frame, leaving a wasteland in its wake. The rupee has tumbled to record depths, markets have tanked and investors are pulling out capital.
Industry and manufacturing are also hurting owing to the tight monetary conditions as well as burgeoning fiscal and trade deficits.
All the danger signs were on the radar. But beleaguered and embattled, the economy now looks to its managers and skywards towards the rain gods (praying for a normal monsoon) for resuscitation and deliverance. The general prognosis is one of despondency.
Rupa Rege Nitsure, chief economist, Bank of Baroda calls it right when she says: "This is definitely an important signal for the government - it is a make or break situation for India and the government has to press the panic button."
Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee's response is: "These are disappointing figures in the context of our recent performance." He adds: "Among the factors that have contributed to the slowdown are the tight monetary policy, which led to a significant rise in interest costs, and the weak global sentiments that affected growth in domestic private investment."
There has been a dramatic slowdown in car sales for the first time in recent years because of high interest rates on loans and rising fuel costs. Similarly, sales of consumer durable goods such as TVs and refrigerators and fast moving consumer goods like cosmetics and processed foods have turned sluggish.
The farm sector posted a meagre 1.7 per cent growth during the fourth quarter, down from 7.4 per cent in the same quarter of the previous year. The latest figures show a marked deterioration in an economy that had clocked an over 9 per cent growth for three successive years between 2005-08 and 8.4 per cent growth in 2010-11.
The delay in the government's decision-making is holding up large projects in the mining sector, which has clocked a negative growth rate for three consecutive quarters and ended the year with a 0.9 per cent contraction.
This has had a cascading effect and grounded investments in big power projects since fuel supplies are not coming through. Even Mukherjee conceded that "the domestic investment sentiments may have also been affected by the environmental policy bottlenecks in the mining sector".