Indian biz lobby group eyes 7% growth in 2004-05

Monday, 24 May 2004, 07:00 Hrs
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NEW DELHI: The Indian economy is likely to post a healthy seven percent growth in the current fiscal on improved agriculture sector output for the second consecutive year, said a premier business chamber Sunday.

The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) discounted fears of poor agriculture growth dragging down the economy in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2005, saying effect of good winter crop will be felt in the first half of the year.

"Given that the Meteorological Department has predicted that the monsoon is likely to be normal this year, it will not be difficult for agricultural output to grow by a few percentage points," says a CII study report.

Based on the assumption of up to two percent agriculture growth in 2004-05 over an estimated nine percent growth in the previous fiscal, it said: "The resulting GDP growth estimate lies in the range of 6.6 percent to seven percent in 2004-05."

The business lobby group also revised its growth estimate for 2003-04 to 8.4 percent from the earlier government projection of 8.1 percent.

Factoring a nine percent GDP growth during the fourth quarter of 2003-04, followed by 10.4 percent in the third quarter, one of the highest globally, the CII has raised its estimate for the 2003-04 fiscal.

"Given the excellent performance in the agriculture sector, it is likely the Central Statistical Organisation (CSO) will revise up its full year GDP growth estimate from the existing 8.1 percent," it said.

"We are now factoring in nine percent growth in the fourth quarter, which will take the full year GDP growth to 8.4 percent."

Source: IANS
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