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Economy 02-Jun, 2024

Indian Economy Beats Estimates, Grows 8.2% in Fiscal Year 2023-24

By: Rishav Khetan

Indian Economy Beats Estimates, Grows 8.2% in Fiscal Year 2023-24

Source- Reuters 

Sector-wise, the real gross value added (GVA) increased 7.2% in 2023-24, up from 6.7% in the previous fiscal year. This growth propelled the Indian economy to $3.5 trillion, setting the stage for achieving the $5 trillion target in the coming years.

According to the latest data released by the National Statistical Office (NSO), India's gross domestic product (GDP) for the January-March quarter of fiscal year 2023-24 (Q4 FY24) grew by 7.8%, driven by a robust performance in the manufacturing sector. This growth, while slower than the upwardly revised 8.6% in the October-December period, is significantly higher than the 6.2% recorded in the same quarter of the previous fiscal year.

For the full year (FY24), the Indian economy surpassed expectations with an 8.2% growth rate, led by strong expansions in the manufacturing and construction sectors. This annual growth rate exceeded the second advance estimate of 7.6% and the Reserve Bank of India's (RBI) projection of 7%, helping India maintain its status as the fastest-growing major economy. The manufacturing sector was buoyed by increased domestic and international demand for Indian goods and the government's 'Make in India' initiative. The construction sector, on the other hand, benefited from a surge in infrastructure projects and increased public and private investments.

"India's GDP growth is robust on the back of solid investment demand, supported by healthy balance sheets of banks and corporates, the government's focus on capital expenditure, and prudent monetary, regulatory, and fiscal policies," the RBI noted.

Sector-wise, the real gross value added (GVA) increased 7.2% in 2023-24, up from 6.7% in the previous fiscal year. This growth propelled the Indian economy to $3.5 trillion, setting the stage for achieving the $5 trillion target in the coming years. The manufacturing sector saw a remarkable turnaround, growing by 9.9% in FY24 after a contraction of 2.2% the previous year. The construction sector also grew by 9.9%, following a 9.4% growth rate in the prior year. Overall, the industry sector expanded by 9.5% in FY24, a significant increase from the 2.1% growth in the previous fiscal year.

However, the services sector, which comprises more than 55% of the economy, experienced slower growth at 7.6% in 2023-24, compared to 10% in the previous year. The agricultural sector also showed concerning signs, growing by only 1.4% in FY24, down from 4.7% the year before.

These growth figures come shortly after global ratings agency S&P revised India’s sovereign rating outlook to positive from stable, citing robust growth and improved quality of government spending. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) projects global growth at 3.1% in 2024 and 3.2% in 2025, with India expected to lead major emerging markets with a 6.6% growth rate. Comparatively, China is projected to grow at 4.9% and Brazil at 1.9%. The International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank, and rating agencies like Moody's have also revised India's growth outlook upwards, attributing it to strong domestic demand and a growing working-age population.

Despite the strong growth, India faces several challenges. The Q4 numbers indicated some concerns, with only 0.6% growth compared to the 0.4% expansion in the previous quarter. Private and government consumption remained subdued throughout the year compared to the previous fiscal year. Government sources pointed to various risks, including geopolitical tensions, inflation concerns, and potential financial instability. Global recession risks have lessened, but issues like Middle East conflicts, financial stress, and reduced international trade continue to pose significant challenges.

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