Indian economy growth estimated to stand at 6.5 percent in 2017-18

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According to Department of Agriculture and Cooperation's data, the production of food grains during the Kharif season of agriculture year 2017-18 was 134.67 million tonnes as compared to 138.52 million tonnes during the same period in 2016-17. The Central Statistical Office released the first advance estimate of India's Gross Domestic Product for the 2017-'18 financial year.

Central Statistics Office (CSO) has pegged the GDP growth rate during the FY2017-18 at 6.5% in its first advance estimates as compared to GDP growth rate of 7.1% in FY2016-17 at basic constant prices of 2011-12.

"Real GVA, i.e, GVA at basic constant prices (2011-12) is anticipated to increase from '111.85 lakh crore in 2016-17 to '118.71 lakh crore in 2017-18".

With poor performance of agriculture and manufacturing sectors, country's economic growth is expected to slow to a four-year low of 6.5 per cent in 2017-18, the lowest under Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led NDA Government.

Growth in gross value added (GVA) - a broad measure of the value of all goods and services produced in the economy that strips out the impact of taxes and subsidies - also slowed to 6.1 per cent, sharply lower than the RBI's estimate of 6.7 per cent. This means that India's fiscal deficit is likely to be higher than budgetary estimate 3.2% for fiscal 2017-18. Economic activities were affected by demonetisation announced on November 8, 2016 and subsequent implementation of a new indirect tax regime (GST) from July 1 in the current financial year.

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In the first half (April-September) of the financial year ending 31 March, the economy grew at 6%, indicating that it will accelerate in the second half (October-March) of the financial year. Gross value added (GVA) growth is forecast at 6.1% against 6.6% previous year.

Previous year the government changed the presentation of Union Budget from February-end to 1 February that started the practice of unveiling advance GDP forecast in January. On other hand, a higher real GDP growth could well be an indicator about GST's minimal impact on prices of goods and services.

The EAC-PM Chairman said the advance estimate numbers only reinforce what was already known - that reforms undertaken by the government will place the economy on an upward growth trajectory, without compromising on fiscal consolidation. The latest estimates for full year suggest there is no change in trend. "Accordingly, the advance estimates for GDP and GVA growth appear to be understating economic expansion for FY2018, in our view", she said in statement issued by the ICRA.

"Even the current GDP forecast of 6.5 per cent is likely to be hard to attain, given that growth in the first half was just 6 per cent", Rao added.