India regains fastest-growing economy title

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India regained its status as the world’s fastest-growing major economy in the October-December quarter, surpassing China for the first time in a year as government spending, manufacturing and services all picked up.

Asia’s third-largest economy grew 7.2 per cent, its fastest in five quarters, Ministry of Statistics data showed on Wednesday. That beat China’s 6.8 per cent, and a forecast of 6.9 per cent by analysts polled by Reuters.

In a data set that some economists said had put an early interest rate hike on the agenda, India also edged up its 2017/18 gross domestic product (GDP) growth forecast to 6.6 per cent, from 6.5 per cent.

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India’s manufacturers and service industries have been struggling to overcome disruptions from the bumpy launch of a national sales tax in July.

In the quarter to December, however, annual growth in the manufacturing sector climbed to 8.1 per cent from 6.9 per cent in the previous quarter, while financial and other services grew at 7.2 per cent from 5.6 per cent.

Published on 4 March 2018

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