Economy on fire: India's GDP revised up again

Growth in the October-December period, or third quarter of 2023-24, clocked 8.4% year-on-year.
Growth in the October-December period, or third quarter of 2023-24, clocked 8.4% year-on-year.

Summary

  • At 7.6%, the latest growth estimate for 2023-24 is better than the 7.3% the government had earlier predicted, although our growth needs to be broader based. The farm sector has stagnated.

India’s official gross domestic product (GDP) growth data suggests the economy is on fire, even if not firing on all cylinders. At 7.6%, the latest growth estimate for 2023-24 is better than the 7.3% the government had earlier predicted, which itself was an upward surprise. At this rate, the current fiscal year will mark quite a pick-up from 2022-23, when the economy grew a revised 7% (down from 7.2%) and many had expected it to lose pace thereafter. 

A clearer picture emerges when we look closer. Growth in the October-December period, or third quarter of 2023-24, clocked 8.4% year-on-year. Estimated rates for previous quarters have been revised too, resulting in a momentum that places India in a position to report a distinct acceleration. Of course, this fiscal year still has a month left to go and it will be a long while before we’ll have a final figure for 2023-24. 

Sector-wise data presents an uneven picture. Most sectors have posted robust value addition. Manufacturing grew 11.6% on that count in the third quarter. But agriculture is tottering. Its value addition was stagnant in the last quarter. Our growth needs to be broader based and we must stay vigilant on income divergences.

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