The Indian economy roared past estimates to post a whopping growth rate of 8.6% in the January-March quarter of 2010. The quarter’s strong showing also helped India end the fiscal year with 7.4% growth, beating the earlier estimate of 7.2%. Manufacturing led the way, with a whopping 16.3% growth in the quarter and 10.8% overall, while even agriculture, which was expected to decline, ended with marginal growth of 0.2% year-on-year after growing 0.7% in Q4.
The GDP growth rate had slowed to 6.7% in 2008-09 following the global economic crisis, after topping 9% in the previous three years. On Monday, finance minister Pranab Mukherjee reiterated his confidence that the economy would grow at 8.5%-plus in 2010-11.
Finance secretary Ashok Chawla also pegged economic growth at 8.5% in 2010-11. “The growth numbers are pleasant but not really surprising, because we were expecting them to be robust which they turned out to be. This clearly indicates the momentum which is in the economy and the expectations that the 8.5% estimation for 2010-11 is going to be a clear possibility,” he said.
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