India growth slows to 4.4% in Dec quarter on weak demand

India growth slows to 4.4% in Dec quarter on weak demand

India's quarterly economic growth slowed to 4.4 percent in the last three months of 2022, official estimates showed Tuesday, as weaker global demand and high inflation weigh on the world's fifth-largest economy.

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Quarterly data showed GDP growth down from 6.3 percent in the September quarter after consumption weakened following India's festive season.

But the National Statistics Office's full-year forecast for the year ending March 31 remained unchanged at 7.0 percent, ranking India's economic outlook above every other major country.

"Growth indicators have started to show signs of reacceleration in early 2023" after "losing some steam" in late 2022, Morgan Stanley said in a report Tuesday.

"Healthy household balance sheets and a pickup in private and public capex (capital expenditure) will sustain gains in employment –- which will allow consumption growth to stay strong in the coming quarters," it added.

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India bounced back strongly from the coronavirus pandemic but is still grappling with the same headwinds buffeting the global economy.

The country of 1.4 billion people imports more than 80 percent of its crude oil needs and rising petrol costs since Russia's invasion of Ukraine have had a ripple effect on prices.

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The Reserve Bank of India has hiked rates by 2.50 percentage points since May last year in an aggressive response to rising consumer inflation, which hit a three-month high of 6.52 percent in January.

The current year's growth estimate exceeds the IMF forecast of 6.1 percent and is significantly higher than every other major economy.

In its January economic outlook, the International Monetary Fund projected India's GDP growth will rebound to 6.8 percent in 2024, supported by "resilient domestic demand despite external headwinds".

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India's benchmark Sensex closed 0.55 percent lower ahead of the GDP data release.

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Source: AFP

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