India’s gross domestic product (GDP) grew 3.1 per cent in January-March, showed the official records. With that, the annual expansion in the GDP stood at 4.2 per cent in fiscal year 2019-20, marking the lowest pace of growth in 11 years. The official rate of GDP expansion comes days after the country entered a third month of lockdown with few exceptions to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, which has hampered an already-slowing economy and forced many businesses to trim their operations leading to thousands of job losses.
The median forecast from a poll of economists by news agency Reuters had pegged GDP growth at 2.1 per cent in the final quarter of fiscal year 2019-20, with forecasts ranging between +4.5 per cent and -1.5 per cent.
With data for the latest quarter, GDP growth for the full financial year – which ended on March 31 – came in at 4.2 per cent, as the COVID-19 lockdown affected the manufacturing and services sectors. In fiscal year 2018-19, the country’s GDP had expanded 6.1 per cent.
The GDP growth rate for the quarter ended December 31, 2019 was revised downward to 4.1 per cent from 4.7 per cent estimated in February. The GDP expanded 4.4 in the September quarter and 5.2 per cent in the June quarter of 2019-20.