Asia’s third largest economy grew an expected 4.8 percent from a year earlier in the January-March quarter, slightly faster than an upwardly revised 4.7 percent growth in the previous three months, which was the lowest in fifteen quarters.
But the better headline GDP number was largely down to a statistical base effect rather than any substantial improvement in economy.
The data will offer scant relief to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as his government heads into a busy election period dogged by graft scandals and criticism of its economic management.
Pulled down by poor performance of farm, manufacturing and mining sectors, economic growth slowed to 4.8 percent in the January-March quarter and fell to a decade’s low of 5 percent for the entire 2012-13 fiscal.
The economic growth or gross domestic product (GDP) had expanded by 5.1 percent in January-March quarter of last fiscal. Economy had grown at 4 percent in 2002-03. India’s economic growth was at 6.2 percent for the 2011-12 fiscal. It had grown by 5.4 percent, 5.2 percent and 4.7 percent in the first, second and third quarters, respectively, of 2012-13, according to data released by the Central Statistical Organisation (CSO) today.
In January-March quarter of 2012-13, manufacturing sector grew marginally by 2.6 percent, against 0.1 percent growth in the same period of the earlier fiscal.
During 2012-13, the sector under review grew by a meagre one percent compared to 2.7 percent in the previous fiscal.
Mining and quarrying sector contracted by 3.1 percent during the fourth quarter of last fiscal, as against growth of 5.2 percent in output in the same period of 2011-12. The contraction in mining sector remained unchanged at 0.6 percent in 2012-13 over the previous fiscal.
Farm sector output expanded by just 1.4 percent in January-March this year, as against 2 percent in the same quarter of 2011-12. The agriculture sector also grew at a slower rate of just 1.9 percent in 2012-13 compared to 3.6 percent in 2011-12.
The growth rate of electricity, gas and water supply also slowed to 2.8 percent in the fourth quarter from 3.5 percent witnessed in the same quarter of 2011-12. The segment grew by 4.2 percent in 2012-13 compared to 6.5 percent in previous fiscal.
Construction sector expanded by 4.4 percent in Q4 of 2012-13, as against 5.1 percent in the year-ago period. The segment grew by 4.3 percent in 2012-13 as against 5.6 percent in the previous fiscal.
Trade, hotels, transport and communications segment grew at 6.2 percent in the January-March quarter this year as against 5.1 percent in the same period a year ago. The sector grew at 6.4 percent in 2012-13 compared to 7 percent in the previous fiscal.
Growth rate of services sector, including insurance and real estate, stood at 9.1 percent in fourth quarter against 11.3 percent in same quarter of 2011-12. The segment grew by 8.6 percent in 2012-13 compared to 11.7 percent in 2011-12. Community social and personal services registered a growth of 4 percent in Q4 period compared to 6.8 percent in the January-March quarter of 2011-12. The segment grew by 6.6 percent in 2012-13 against 6 percent in the previous fiscal.