India’s Gross Domestic Product growth rate stood at 3.1% for the fourth quarter of 2019-’20, according to data the government released on Friday. In the October to December 2019 quarter, the country’s economic growth stood at 4.7% – a seven-year low. However, the final figures released for the third quarter on Friday showed that India’s GDP grew at 4.1% during October to December last year.
A nationwide lockdown to limit the spread of the coronavirus, imposed on March 25, as well as lockdowns imposed by states earlier that month, may have contributed to the fall in the GDP growth rate for the last quarter of 2019-’20.
The Centre, in its press release, said that flow of data from economic entities was impacted as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent countrywide lockdown. “As some of these units are yet to resume operations and owing to the fact that the statutory time-lines for submitting the requisite financial returns have been extended by the Government, these estimates are based on the available data,” the press release said. “Consequently, the estimates are likely to undergo revision.”
The growth rate of the index of eight core industries for April declined by 38.1%, according to an official press release on Friday. This was a much sharper fall than the 9% decline in March.
The Reserve Bank of India had said on April 10 that urban consumption had declined following the coronavirus outbreak. “The Covid-19 outbreak and the subsequent lockdown are expected to bring down the aggregate demand drastically, both in rural and urban areas,” it had said.
On May 22, the central bank said that it expects the Indian economy to contract in the 2020-’21 financial year. “There will be gradual revival of activity and demand by the second half of the financial year,” he said, adding that a lot will depend on how the Covid-19 curve flattens.
Several organisations have cut growth projections for India during the pandemic. In April, Moody’s Investors Service cut India’s growth forecast for the year 2020 from 2.5% to 0.2%.