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India Records 9% Growth Rate For...

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Though some slowdown was witnessed in the manufacturing and construction sectors, the upsurge in agriculture sector prompted the Central Statistical Organisation (CSO) to raise the GDP growth rate to 9 per cent, as against 8.7 per cent estimated in February.

The 9 per cent growth rate follows 9.6 per cent economic growth rate in 2006-07 and 9.4 per cent in 2005-06.

The high GDP growth comes amidst worries of inflation, which touched a 45-month high of 8.1 per cent for the week ended May 17.

The agricultural and allied sectors grew by 4.5 per cent during 2007-08, compared to earlier estimates of 2.6 per cent, while the manufacturing sector growth rate has been lowered to 8.8 per cent from the initial estimate of 9.4 per cent.

"The upward revision in the GDP growth rate is mainly on account of the revision made in the estimated production of agricultural crops by the Department of Agriculture and Cooperation," the government said.

Finance Minister P. Chidambaram, expressing satisfaction with the 9 per cent GDP growth in 2007-08, said that the economy will expand close to 8.5 per cent this fiscal.

"It is a matter of great satisfaction that 2007-08 has returned the growth rate of 9 per cent. As the year progressed there were some doubts whether we will be able to achieve 9 per cent growth rate", he said.

However, comparing the fourth quarter figures of 2007-08 to last fiscal, the economic growth dipped to 8.8 per cent as compared to 9.7 per cent in the corresponding period previous fiscal. The manufacturing sector, showing signs of slowing down, has decelerated to 8.8 per cent from 9.4 per cent estimated by the government earlier. The fourth quarter figures for the last fiscal too are much lower at 5.8 per cent as compared to 12.8 per cent in the January-March quarter of 2006-07.

"We will address why is there a slowdown in manufacturing. We will have to take some corrective measures... And we will take those corrective measures," the finance minister has stressed.

According to the revised estimates, the per capita income at constant prices (1999-2000 prices) has also grown 7.8 per cent to Rs 24,321.

The per capita income at current prices worked out to be Rs 33,299, showing an increase of 12.3 per cent.

Meanwhile, during 2007-08, the sectors which performed poorly were transport and communication, electricity, gas and water supply.

While growth rate of the transport, communication, trade and hotels sector stood at 12 per cent from the earlier estimate of 12.1 per cent, electricity and gas supply activities growth rate was a slower 6.3 per cent, against 7.8 per cent projected earlier.

The construction sector grew marginally higher by 9.8 per cent as compared to the earlier estimate of 9.6 per cent.

Besides, the financial services sector, including insurance, real estate and other services also registered a slight increase at 11.8 per cent as compared to 11.7 per cent projected in the advance estimates.