India shows 5-year slowdown in 1st quarter


India’s economic growth rate slowed to a five-year low of 5.8%in January-March 2018-19 due to poor performance in the agriculture and manufacturing sectors.

According to Central Statistics Office (CSO) data released on Friday, GDP growth during the 2018-19 fiscal year stood at 6.8%, lower than 7.2% in the previous financial year.

The growth in gross domestic product (GDP) was the slowest since 2014-15. The previous low was 6.4% in 2013-14. According to the Press Trust of India (PTI) news agency, the fourth quarter growth was below China’s 6.4 percent.

Speaking to PTI, Economic Affairs Secretary S C Garg said the slowdown was due to temporary factors like stress in the non-banking financial company segment.

The latest GDP growth data released on Friday pose a great challenge for the Narendra Modi government, fresh from a general election win.

Nirmala Sitharaman took over the finance ministry this week, the first woman to hold the portfolio in India.

More bad news came from the Labor Ministry, announcing on Friday that joblessness in the country was 6.1% of the total labor force in 2017-18, the highest in 45 years.

The data showed 7.8% of all employable urban youth are jobless, versus 5.3% for rural.

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