Cheers for now, but caution for the future. Government figures released on Monday show India’s economy grew 7.4% in the last fiscal year. The advance estimate was just 7.2%.
Much of the extra punch for annual growth came from the last quarter of the fiscal. The economy expanded 8.6% between January and March.
Several sectors did better than expected. Farming grew a modest 0.2% against expectations of a contraction. Manufacturing went up 10.6%. And that boom industry, mining, expanded 10.8%.
Meanwhile services didn’t do as well. Together finance, insurance, real estate and business services gained 9.7%. Other services like social and personal services grew 5.6%.
The government’s cash registers are ringing. By Monday telecom operators across the industry had coughed up their dues from the 3G spectrum auction. The government has made close to Rs70,000 crore from the spectrum, but banks may already be feeling the pinch. On Monday they parked a total of just Rs540 crore in excess cash with the RBI while borrowing more than Rs4,000 crore.
There’s more goods news for the economy, this time, from the skies above. On Monday the India Meteorological Department announced the annual monsoons have arrived at Kerala’s coast. Weather officials have predicted a normal monsoon this year. That’s a relief from 2009, which was India’s worst monsoon in almost 40 years. Monsoons are crucial to India’s farming output and especially for crops like rice.