India sees higher 2015-16 growth even after economy loses steam in December quarter

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[February 08, 2016]  By Rajesh Kumar Singh

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India's economic growth expectedly eased in the quarter through December, data showed on Monday, adding pressure on Prime Minister Narendra Modi's administration to expedite stalled reforms in the upcoming parliament session.

Gross domestic product (GDP) grew an annual 7.3 percent in the latest quarter, in line with the forecast of analysts in a Reuters poll, and lower than a revised 7.7 percent growth in July-September.

Economic growth for the April-June quarter was surprisingly marked up to 7.7 percent from a provisional 7 percent reported earlier.

The government also forecast that GDP growth for the fiscal year ending in March 2016 would accelerate to 7.6 percent from a revised 7.2 percent a year earlier.

Even though the economy lost steam in the last quarter, its pace of expansion was faster than 6.8 percent growth posted by China in the same quarter.

However, very few economists are ready to take the official data at face value, which they say is at odds with weak exports, railway freight, cement production, investment and flat order books that point to weakness in the economy.

(Editing by Douglas Busvine)

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