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Gita Gopinath (REUTERS)
Gita Gopinath (REUTERS)

IMF validates India’s GDP contraction in Q1 as the steepest among G20 countries

IMF chief economist Gita Gopinath on Wednesday tweeted a graph showing India’s internationally comparable quarter-on-quarter GDP shrank the most among G20 countries at 25.6%

New Delhi: Amid a row over whether India’s gross domestic product (GDP) contracted the most among major economies in the June quarter, International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief economist Gita Gopinath on Wednesday tweeted a graph which showed India’s internationally comparable quarter-on-quarter GDP shrank the most among G20 countries at 25.6%.

India reports its GDP growth by comparing its level a year ago (year-on-year) which showed the economy dipped 23.9% in the June quarter. Mint was the first to point out on Monday that India’s GDP contraction could be one of the worst among G20 countries.

“In #GreatLockdown Q2 (June quarter) 2020 GDP growth at historical lows. Graph puts G20 growth numbers on a comparable scale, quarter-on-quarter non-annualised. Should expect rebounds in Q3 (September quarter) but 2020 overall will see major contractions. China recovers strongly in Q2 after collapse in Q1 (March quarter)," Gopinath said in her accompanying tweet with the graphics.

India’s executive director to the IMF Surjit Bhalla earlier on Wednesday had said on Twitter that the comparable US figure for India’s 23.9% contraction in the June quarter is 31.7% contraction, signaling that the US contracted at a faster pace than India during the period. Later, he tweeted that “cross-country comparison at this point is not valid."

“This graph via @GitaGopinath, IMF chief economist, shows just how disastrously badly India is doing. Note that this data is non-annualised and comparable across countries. The ill-conceived and draconian lockdown in India has extracted a fearsome price," economist Vivek Dahija, a Mint columnist tweeted.

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