Indian economy grew by 13.5% in the first quarter (April-June) of the financial year 2022-’23, government data showed on Wednesday.

The gross domestic product, or GDP, growth rate for the same three-month period last year was 20.1%. However, it was built on a low base after an unprecedented contraction of 24.4% in the first quarter of the 2020 financial year due to the pandemic.

In the fourth quarter (January-March) of the last financial year, India’s economic growth stood at 4.1%. The GDP growth full financial year 2021-’22 was 8.7%.

The growth rate in the first quarter of this financial year is below expectations as earlier this month, the Reserve Bank of India had projected the estimated first quarter GDP growth to be 16.2%. The central bank has estimated GDP growth projection for the entire financial year 2022-’23 to be retained at 7.2%.

Ratings agency ICRA had predicted that the GDP would grow by 13%, while State Bank of India had said that it would increase by 15.7%, PTI reported.

Fiscal deficit

Meanwhile, the Union government’s fiscal deficit touched 20.5% of the annual target at the end of July 2022-’23 against 21.3% in the same period a year ago, reflecting an improvement in public finance.

The fiscal deficit, which is the difference between expenditure and revenue, was Rs 3,40,831 crore during the April-July period.

According to the Controller General of Accounts data, the government’s receipts, including taxes, stood at Rs 7.85 lakh crore or 34.4% of the budget estimates for 2022-’23. It was 34.6% in the same period last year.

The tax revenue stood at Rs 6.66 lakh crore or 34.4% of this year’s budget estimate. It was 34.2% last year.

Core sector output

The output of eight core infrastructure sectors, including coal, crude oil, natural gas, refinery products, fertiliser, steel, cement and electricity slowed down to 4.5% in July against 9.9% in the same period a year ago, data showed.

The production growth of eight infrastructure sectors was 11.5% in April-July this fiscal against 21.4% a year ago.