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March-Quarter Growth Seen At 8.2%

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Median forecast from a poll of 28 economists is for an annual growth of 8.2 per cent in the quarter through March, unchanged from the previous quarter.

Forecasts ranged from 6.3 per cent to 8.9 per cent.

The economy is expected to have grown 8.5 per cent in fiscal year 2010-11 that ended in March, just below the 8.6 percent estimated by the government, and up from 8 percent a year earlier, the poll showed.

Forecasts for the full fiscal year growth ranged between 8.0 per cent and 8.7 per cent.

Factors To Watch
# India's industrial output grew an annual 7.3 per cent in March, smashing forecasts on the back of a revival in capital goods production.

# Services sector gained momentum in April, with strong growth in new business orders, a HSBC survey showed early this month.

# Manufacturing sector maintained its strong rate of expansion in April, helped by higher output and employment, the latest purchasing managers' index (PMI) data showed.

# While both input and output price indexes fell from the highs seen in March, they remained way above the 50 mark as soaring fuel and raw material prices drove up costs and fed into output prices, a clear indication that high inflation was here to stay.

# India's headline inflation eased to 8.66 percent in April, but upward revisions to past readings and the prospect of higher energy prices will keep pressure on the central bank to raise interest rates in June and maintain its hawkish stance.

# The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), which has been one of the most aggressive of major central banks in tightening policy, early this month raised rates by a higher-than-forecast 50 basis points and said it was willing to sacrifice a bit of growth to tame inflation.

# The RBI has raised its policy rate nine times by a total of 250 basis points since March 2010.

# Most economists in a recent Reuters poll expect the central bank to raise rates by at least another 75 basis points in 2011.

# Monsoon rains, which are vital for boosting farm production and rural incomes in the nation of more than 1.2 billion people, have been forecast to be normal in 2011.

Market Impact

# Bond dealers said a March-quarter GDP growth number of around 8.1-8.3 percent will have little market impact.

# However, they said a number below 8 per cent could push yields down by 4 to 5 basis points as the market has been heavily sold in recent sessions, while a number above 8.5 per cent could push up yields by 2 to 3 basis points.

(Reuters)


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economy india economic growth pmi industrial output