India's GDP grows 1.6 pc in Jan-Mar; shrinks 7.3 pc in 2020-21

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New Delhi, May 31 (PTI) India's economy grew by 1.6 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2020-21, restricting the full-year contraction to 7.3 per cent, official data showed on Monday.

The fourth quarter growth was better than the 0.5 per cent expansion in the previous October-December quarter of 2020-21.

The gross domestic product (GDP) had expanded by 3 per cent in the corresponding January-March period of 2019-20, according to data released by the National Statistical Office (NSO).

Annual GDP growth since 1980; Creative courtesy - TOI
Annual GDP growth since 1980; Creative courtesy - TOI

In 2020-21, the Indian economy contracted by 7.3 per cent against 4 per cent expansion in 2019-20, showing the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The NSO had projected a GDP contraction of 7.7 per cent in 2020-21 in its first advance estimates of national accounts released in January this year.

The fiscal deficit reported at 9.3 per cent of GDP in 2020-21, down from revised estimate of 9.5 per cent, according to the official data.

Icra earlier forecasted a 2 per cent GDP growth in the fourth quarter of 2020-21, and a 7.3 per cent contraction for the full fiscal year. From a GVA or gross value added perspective, Q4 growth stood at 3 per cent and the fully year contraction at 6.3 per cent, the domestic ratings agency said.

“We expect the year-on-year GVA growth at 3 per cent in Q4 of FY21 up from 1 per cent in Q3, and GDP growth in the same quarter at 2 per cent, up from 0.4 per cent in Q3, suggesting the economy is on course to avoid double-dip recession as implied by the NSO," said Aditi Nayar, the chief economist at the agency.

 China has recorded a 18.3 per cent growth in January-March 2021.