NITI Aayog optimistic despite four-year-low GDP growth forecast
According to the first advance estimates of the Central Statistics Office (CSO), the Indian economy is forecast to grow at 6.5% in FY2017-2018. India had clocked GDP growth rates of 7.5%, 8% and 7.1% in FY2014-2015, FY2015-2016, and FY2016-2017 respectively, making this year's forecast a four-year-low. However, NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar believes that India is poised for a full recovery.
Analysts echo NITI Aayog's optimism
"We expect growth to normalise gradually over the next four to six quarters as the disruptive impact of major policy changes fades," said Standard Chartered in its Economic Outlook report, echoing what many analysts believe to be true.
The CSO's take on the Indian economy's performance
GDP apart, Gross Value Added (GVA) growth is expected to be 6.1% in FY2017-2018, compared to 6.6% in FY2016-2017. However, the CSO also said that India's projected 6.5% GDP growth implies a growth of 7% in the second half of FY2017-2018 which might be indicative of a comeback. India's poor first-half performance reflected disruption caused by GST, and the lingering effects of the demonetization.
Trend of increasing growth is visible, says CSO Chief Statistician
"Effectively, we are calculating the H2 growth in the economy at around 7%...maintain[s] the trend of increasing growth," said Chief Statistician TCA Anant, possibly hinting at better things to come.
How sector wise growth compares to 2016-2017
Growth in the agricultural sector is expected to be 2.1% this year, vs 4.9% in FY2016-2017. The manufacturing sector is expected to register a relatively low growth rate of 4.6% compared to FY2016-2017's 7.9% growth. However, the financial, real estate, and professional services sector is expected to see a growth of 7.3%, up from 5.7% in FY2016-2017.
CSO Chief Statistician on agricultural performance
"So far agriculture is concerned, there is certain amount of statistical base reversion to mean...because last [year's] is very high growth rate after continuous years of drought. Actual total production figure would be the second highest in very long period of time," added Anant.
NITI Aayog Vice Chairman remains optimistic about next fiscal
Commenting on the CSO forecasts, NITI Aayog Vice Chairperson Rajiv Kumar said that India's improved second half growth of 7% was indicative of a more robust performance in FY2018-2019. He added that the second half growth came despite reduction in public sector expenditures which had peaked in 2016-2017 due to the implementation of the recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission.