The Indian economy is expected to grow 5% in the 2019-’20 financial year compared to 6.8% last year, the National Statistical Office said in the first advance estimates released on Tuesday. If this bears out, it will be the slowest annual growth in Gross Domestic Product since 2008-’09. Weakening consumption and stagnating private investment are believed to be the reasons behind the economic slowdown.
The government estimated that Gross Value Added, which is Gross Domestic Product minus net taxes, will grow 4.9% in 2019-’20. Gross Value Added is a more realistic measure of changes in the aggregate value of goods and services produced in an economy.
Per capita monthly income, however, is estimated to rise 6.8% to Rs 11,254 during 2019-’20, the data showed.
Last month, the Reserve Bank of India had also lowered its projection for the economic growth rate to 5% for 2019-’20, just two months after it had forecast a 6.1% growth rate. The central bank cited weak domestic and external demand as a reason for the downward projection.
The latest projections are bad news for investors, and come at a time when the Indian economy is faltering. Figures released in November showed that GDP growth slumped to a six-year low the month before , while industrial output contracted. In November, the output of eight core infrastructure industries declined 1.5% – the fourth straight month of a contraction – compared to November 2018.
In the last few months, core sectors such as automobiles and manufacturing have slowed down because of weakened consumer demand and dearth of investments.