SBI expects Q1 GDP growth at 7.7%

SBI expects Q1 GDP growth at 7.7%

The country's GDP is expected to grow by 7.7% in the April-June quarter on the back of pick up in leading indicators like cement production, sale of vehicles and bank credit, a report by SBI said.

SBI has based its assessment on its Composite Leading Indicator (CLI), which takes into account 18 major macro-economic indicators.

"The CLI is signalling that the economic activity for Q1 FY19 has picked up substantially and the GVA (Gross Value Added) growth would be 7.6%," it said in its research report 'Ecowrap'.

However, the headline GVA is being possibly pulled down by a weak agriculture growth, it added.

Major indicators that driving GVA in Q1 FY19 are cement production, passenger traffic, sale of both commercial vehicle and passenger vehicles, non-food credit growth and aircraft movement among others, the report said.

"Finally, how much GDP will be higher than GVA at 7.6% Q1FY19? We believe it could be 7.7%, as a lot of subsidy has been frontloaded in Q1, implying that the gap between GDP and GVA may just vanish in Q1!," it said.

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) is scheduled to release quarterly GDP estimate for April-June 2018 on August 31.

The report further said the quarterly trend of subsidy expenditure suggests that the government has been frontloading larger chunk of overall subsidy amount in the first quarter compared to other quarters and this is happening since 2016-17.

In April-June 2018-19, subsidy expenditure to the tune of Rs 1,16,820 crore has been frontloaded.

"We believe, by front loading subsidy amount in Q1 may have some impact on Q1 GDP figure and the gap between GDP and GVA might come down to some extent in Q1 as compared to remaining quarters in FY19," it said.

In fact, a trend analysis suggests that first quarter of fiscal may even witness GDP declining below GVA or staying marginally above GVA, it added.

As per the CSO, the GDP at 2011-12 prices in the fourth quarter (Q4) of financial year 2017-18 registered growth rate of 7.7% as against 5.6%, 6.3% and 7% respectively, in the first three quarters of the last fiscal. 

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