India logs robust 7.9 percent growth in second quarter (Lead)

New Delhi, Nov 30 (Inditop.com) Signs of an upturn in the Indian economy were reinforced Monday with official data on the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) showing a 7.9 percent growth in the second quarter of this fiscal, taking the markets and experts by surprise.

The economy had registered a 6.1 percent growth in the first quarter of this fiscal and took the cumulative expansion for the first half of the current fiscal (April-September) to 7 percent, as per data released by the Central Statistical Organisation (CSO) here.

The growth registered last fiscal was 6.7 percent.

The bulk of the recovery was led by a 9.2-percent growth in manufacturing, while mining and construction activities expanded by 9.5 percent 6.5 percent, respectively. But the agriculture sector continued to be a major drag with a mere 0.9-percent growth.

Experts now expect the Indian economy to expand by at least 7 percent during the current fiscal as against their earlier estimated of around 6.5 percent, with Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia calling the latest data “above expectations”.

“There is also scope to revise the growth projections,” Ahluwalia said, referring to the prospect of an upward fine-tuning of the plan panel’s earlier estimate of 6.7 percent growth for the year as a whole.

The impressive growth numbers took the markets by surprise, resulting in the sensitive index (Sensex) of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) gain 302.43 points, or 1.82 percent, over the previous close.

Following are the sector-wise growth rates for the second quarter (first quarter in brackets):

-Agriculture, forestry & fishing: 0.9 percent (2.4 percent)

-Mining and quarrying: 9.5 percent (7.9 percent)

-Manufacturing: 9.2 percent (3.4 percent)

-Electricity, gas and water supply: 7.4 percent (6.2 percent)

-Construction: 6.5 percent (7.1 percent)

-Trade, hotels, transport and communications: 8.5 percent (8.1 percent)

-Financing, insurance, real estate business services: 7.7 percent (8.1 percent)

-Community, social and personal services: 12.7 percent (6.8 percent)