Indian quarterly growth rises slightly after six-year lows


India’s economic growth rose slightly to 4.7 percent in the last three months of 2019, government data showed Friday, edging back from six-year lows, reports BSS/AFP. Asia’s third-largest economy is facing strong headwinds with a contraction in investments, lower factory output and unemployment levels reaching a four-decade high.

Friday’s figures showed a quarterly rise of 0.2 percent, the first improvement after seven straight quarters of slowdown finished with the worst GDP figures since 2014. But the headline figure remains well below the seven-percent level that economists say India needs to give jobs for the millions entering the labour market every year.

Annual growth slowed to five percent last year in the economy’s slowest expansion since the 2008 global financial crisis. “It is not a great number but the worst is behind us and India is witnessing a period of slow recovery,” said Sujan Hajra, economist with Anand Rathi Securities in Mumbai. The most recent quarterly figures cover a period before the international spread of the new coronavirus epidemic that originated in China last December.

The outbreak has battered supply chains in India and across the world and sent international markets into a tailspin. “Some signs of recovery are visible as private consumption has increased but the global coronavirus outbreak poses more challenges in the next quarter for the Indian economy,” Hajra said.