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India’s Q3 GDP at 4.7%; FM says steadiness is good

Bogged down by Coronavirus and an ongoing slowdown, India’s GDP in Q3 of financial year 2019-20 settled at 4.7 percent
New Delhi: Bogged down by Coronavirus and an ongoing slowdown, India’s GDP (Gross Domestic Product) in Q3 of financial year 2019-20 settled at 4.7 percent on Friday, official data showed. Analysts have warned that the global impact of Coronavirus is likely to stifle growth even further in India. The gross domestic product data released on Friday showed consumer demand, private investment and exports all struggling, coupled with an improvement in government spending and rural demand.

Here’s what Sitharaman had to say on Q3 GDP

Commenting on the Q3 GDP figures, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that “steadiness” in the economy was a good sign. She made it clear that she was not expecting a jump in the figures either. On the impact of Coronavirus on the economy, Sitharaman said, “There is no need to immediately press the ‘panic button.’” She, however, admitted that things may get challenging if the issues prolong for another two or three weeks, citing her conversations with industry players over the last few days.

The backdrop

The annual GDP figure for the September quarter was ramped up from an earlier estimate of 4.5 percent, while the April-June reading was similarly raised to 5.6 percent from 5.0 percent, data released by the Ministry of Statistics showed on Friday. Earlier in February, the government had announced a slew of measures to invigorate the economy, including increasing government spending on infrastructure. However, economists have warned that the impact of these measures will be outweighed by the global impact of the Coronavirus epidemic that began in China. In the Union Budget 2020, the government estimated economic growth in the current fiscal year to be 5 percent, the lowest for 11 years. The government is targeting only a slight recovery in growth to 6 percent for FY 2020-21, far below the level needed to generate jobs for millions of young Indians entering the labour market each month.