India has regained its title as the world’s fastest-growing major economy, after figures confirmed it grew by more than 7 per cent on an annualised basis in the three months to December, overtaking China once more.


Data released yesterday show the economy grew at an annual rate of 7.2 per cent in the final quarter of last year, continuing its bounceback from a sharp slowdown in the middle of 2017. The Chinese economy grew 6.8 per cent on an annualised basis over the same period.


The data are a boost for Narendra Modi, prime minister, who has come under pressure because of the economic slowdown, ahead of a general election due next year. The news also comes as a welcome relief following a week in which his administration has been attacked for failing to prevent a $1.8bn fraud at the state-owned Punjab National Bank.

这些数据对印度总理纳伦德拉?莫迪(Narendra Modi)是一个助力,他在明年大选之前由于经济放缓而受到压力。在经历了难熬的一周——其间他的政府受到指责,被指未能防止国有的旁遮普国家银行(Punjab National Bank)遭遇18亿美元欺诈——之后,这个消息也让莫迪政府欣慰地松了口气。

Piyush Goyal, the railways minister who is seen as close to Mr Modi, welcomed yesterday’s figures, tweeting: “India’s GDP growth momentum continues strongly & sustainably — jumps to 7.2% in 3rd quarter of 2017-18, makes India the fastest growing large economy in the world.”

被视为与莫迪关系密切的铁道部长皮尤什?戈亚尔(Piyush Goyal)对昨日的数据表示欢迎。他在Twitter上写道:“印度的GDP增长势头保持强劲且可持续——在2017-18财年的第三季度跃升至7.2%,使印度成为世界上增长最快的大型经济体”。

Pronab Sen, the country’s former chief statistician, called the figures “very strong — much stronger than expected”.

印度前首席统计师普罗纳布?森(Pronab Sen)形容这些数字“非常强劲——比预期强劲得多”。

Mr Modi came to power in 2014 promising economic reforms that would help boost the economy and create 10m jobs a year, just shy of the estimated 13m India needs to account for the number of young people entering the workforce each year.


But his record had come under fire following his sudden decision in 2016 to cancel most of the country’s banknotes, followed by a botched attempt to reform the complex sales tax system.


The problems arising from both of these moves helped knock the economy off course last year, as it fell from growth of 9.1 per cent in the first quarter of 2016 to just 5.7 per cent in the three months to June 2017.


Last month, Arun Jaitley, the finance minister, attempted to mitigate some of the effects of the slowdown as he announced a budget which included higher minimum prices for farmers and free health insurance for 100m poor families.

上月,印度财长阿伦?亚特力(Arun Jaitley)试图缓解经济放缓的一部分影响。他宣布一项预算,其中包括调高面向农户的最低收购价格以及为1亿贫困家庭提供免费医保。

That slowdown was reversed in the third quarter of last year, and yesterday’s data showed the improvement con-tinued in the following quarter.


The most recent quarter’s data were boosted in particular by a recovery in construction, which ex-panded 6.8 per cent. This had been one of the sectors to suffer most in the wake of demonetisation, with many of India’s property deals having previously been paid for in cash as a way to avoid tax. Manufacturing meanwhile grew 8.1 per cent, while the country’s important agricultural sector was 4.1 per cent larger.


Earlier in the day, the credit rating agency Moody’s had said that it expected India to grow by 7.6 per cent in 2018.


It said: “There are some signs that the Indian economy is starting to recover from the soft growth patch attributed to the negative impact of the demonetisation undertaken in 2016 and disruption related to last year’s rollout of the Goods and Service Tax.”


The International Monetary Fund has forecast India will grow by 7.4 per cent in 2018 and 7.8 per cent in 2019.


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