NEW DELHI: India’s gross domestic product (GDP) for the quarter ended December 31, 2021 grew by 5.4 per cent, data released by the Centre showed on Monday.
In the previous two quarters, the economy expanded 20.1 per cent and 8.4 per cent, respectively.
The slowdown in pace of growth was experienced as India witnessed a third wave of Covid infections in December, forcing states to impose restrictions like night and weekend curfew.
Surge in Omicron cases in December and January forced the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to cut India’s growth estimates to 9 per cent from an initial 11 per cent estimate.
Besides, lacklustre manufacturing output and investment also slowed pace of growth. Industrial output for December grew at a mere 0.4 per cent, much slower pace than expected.
Indian economy has been on the mend in wake of falling Covid cases and rising pace of vaccination. In the previous fiscal year FY21, it had contracted 6.6 per cent.
Presenting the Union Budget 2022-23, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman had projected a GDP growth of 9.2 per cent — in line with the estimates given by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the Economic Survey 2022.
Sitharaman had said that India’s GDP growth will be highest amongst all major economies.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has been prioritising growth and held interest rates at record lows at its February meeting, despite inflation breaching the upper limit of its target range.
However, some economists believe that rising crude oil prices and supply disruptions following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine could further sap India’s economic growth, thereby posing risks to household spending and private investments.