Estimates of the GDP growth for the first quarter of FY 2018-19 have been released by the Central Statistics Office and the numbers are extremely encouraging. For the first time since the present dispensation came to power in 2014, GDP at constant prices has grown by 8.2 per cent.
Manufacturing and electricity sectors have registered handsome growth rates of over 7 per cent, while agricultural sector has also performed commendably with a 5.3 per cent growth. The growth in the agriculture sector comes on the heels of a good Rabi crop that has resulted in India’s food-grain production registering a record. The mining and quarrying sector posted a meager 0.1 per cent growth, which has been attributed to government regulations.
The 8.2 per cent growth beat all street expectations, case in point being the 7.6 per cent growth forecast by Reuters. These growth numbers affirm the positive impact of the multiple reforms initiated by the Modi Government and coming quarters could also see robust growth numbers.
A Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation press release said the first quarter estimates were based on agricultural production during Rabi season of 2017-18 obtained from the Ministry of Agriculture and abridged financial results of listed companies from BSE/NSE. Index of Industrial Production (IIP), monthly accounts of Union Government Expenditure maintained by Controller General of Accounts (CGA) and of State Government expenditure maintained by Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) during April-June were also taken into account.
With the introduction of Goods and Services Tax (GST) from 1 July last year and consequent changes in the tax structure, the total tax revenue used for GDP compilation includes non-GST revenue and GST revenue, it said.
The manufacturing sector registered an impressive 13.5 per cent growth based on data made available by the private companies to the stock exchanges. The electricity, gas, water supply and other utilities services clocked a 7.3 per cent growth against 7.1 per cent during the same period a year ago. The construction sector posted 8.7 per cent growth and financial, real estate and professional services grew 6.5 per cent.
Economic analysts see the numbers as reflection of strong growth led by exports and this could result in more job opportunities.
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