India retained its status of the fastest growing major economy as the country's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate for the fourth quarter (January- March) of FY 2018 came in at 7.7 per cent, surpassing China's 6.8 per cent.
India's economic expansion at 7.7 per cent was significantly higher than China's 6.8 per cent in the January-March period.
However on yearly basis, the Indian economy grew at a four-year low of 6.7 per cent in 2017-18, down from 7.1 per cent in the previous fiscal.
The previous low was recorded in 2013-14 at 6.4 per cent. "GDP at 2011-12 prices in the fourth quarter of 2017-18 registered growth rate of 7.7 per cent as against 5.6 per cent, 6.3 per cent and 7 per cent, respectively, in the first three quarters of 2017-18.
Rapid growth in agriculture (4.5 per cent), manufacturing (9.1 per cent) and construction (11.5 per cent) contributed to the overall growth," the Central Statistics Office (CSO) said in its national accounts data released today.
The previous high GDP growth of 8.1 per cent was recorded in the April-June quarter of 2016-17. The GDP growth was 6.1 per cent in January-March 2016-17.
Commenting on data, Finance Secretary Hasmukh Adhia said, "The constant increasing trend of quarterly GDP numbers in the four quarters of 2017-18 at 5.6 per cent, 6.3 per cent, 7 per cent and 7.7 per cent indicates that the structural measures of reforms undertaken by government is now bringing rich dividends in the form of higher GDP growth rate."
The decline in the annual GDP growth has been mainly due to dip in manufacturing, agriculture and mining activities.
However, construction and financial services showed some improvements.
The gross value addition (GVA) for the January-March quarter expanded at 7.6 per cent from from 6 per cent a year ago, data showed.
Manufacturing sector GVA grew at 9.1 per cent in fourth quarter, up from 6.1 per cent year ago.
Similarly, construction sector GVA rose 11.5 per cent in the fourth quarter as compared to 3.9 per cent a year ago.
GVA growth of trade, hotels, transport and communication and services related to broadcasting grew at 6.8 per cent in the fourth quarter as compared to 5.5 per cent a year ago.