Chief Economist: Indian Economy to Grow Faster than 8.5 Percent

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Oct. 4 – India’s chief statistician T.C.A. Anant said that the economy is likely to grow a little faster than the targeted 8.5 percent this year thanks to robust farm output and industrial production.

“I am comfortable with 8.5 percent, maybe a little more. I think it is on target,” Anant said in Delhi on Monday. The government had previously projected the economy to grow between 8.5 percent and 8.75 percent.

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee has shown confidence that the economy will surpass growth projections. “I am optimistic that at the end of this year we will be able to surpass our GDP growth forecast of 8.5 percent to 8.75 percent given in the Economic Survey,” Mukherjee said.

Anant agreed with the Finance Minister’s optimism. “At the moment, I think it is a perfectly good statement to make. The first quarter estimates of 8.8 percent is comfortably consistent with the target,” he said.

The Indian economy grew by 7.4 percent in FY2010, while the farm sector saw a growth increase of 0.2 percent. Industrial growth accelerated to 13.8 percent in July, up from 7.2 percent July of 2009.

After recording a growth rate of 9 percent for three straight years, India’s GDP growth slowed to 6.7 percent in 2008-2009 due to continued fallout from the Global Financial Crisis.