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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

3/4/2014 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Downturn in manufacturing cited as one of chief reasons

An emerging economic powerhouse with one of the world's largest populations, the nation of India had a slowdown in economic growth in the most recent quarter. The Indian economy expanded at an annual rate of 4.7 percent in the three months to December, which was down from 4.8 percent in the previous quarter -- lower than what analysts had been expecting, and a definite disappointment.

As recently as in 2012, India's annual GDP growth was 4.5 percent. The downturn is not a surprise, but only serves as a reminder of the economic malaise of that nation.

As recently as in 2012, India's annual GDP growth was 4.5 percent. The downturn is not a surprise, but only serves as a reminder of the economic malaise of that nation.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

3/4/2014 (1 year ago)

Published in Asia Pacific

Keywords: India, economy, downturn, manufacturing


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - As Asia's third-largest economy, India's sluggish growth has been weighed down by various factors. High inflation, a weak currency and a drop in foreign investment are all cited as factors.

As recently as in 2012, India's annual GDP growth was 4.5 percent. The downturn is not a surprise, but only serves as a reminder of the economic malaise of that nation.

While such growth would be enviable by both the U.S. and Europe, for a country that once harbored aspirations of double-digit growth, the figures are bleak.

Manufacturing has taken a hit. Over the past three months factory output fell almost two percent.

Job creation in India is a major worry for India with its large, young population. The nation needs to grow much faster to generate enough employment for its people.

Elections here are due in a couple of months. There are renewed hopes that if a strong government came to power, things could start turning around for India.

This is the fifth quarter in a row that India's annual growth rate has been below the five percent mark.

While manufacturing is down and factory jobs are scarce, hotels, transport utilities and agriculture in India have shown substantial growth.

"We continue to expect India's economic recovery to remain slow and uneven. Local conditions remain challenging, which is critical as the economy is driven primarily by domestic demand," Capital Economics economist Miguel Chanco says.

Two years ago, India's growth rate stood at about eight percent. Economists say the country needs to grow by that much in order to generate enough jobs for the 13 million people entering the workforce annually.

"These figures show that the slowdown really cemented itself in 2013. All four quarters showed growth below 5 percent," the BBC's Yogita Limaye in Mumbai says. The numbers are not good news for the ruling Congress Party, which faces elections in May.

"One silver lining [for the government] is inflation. Prices had risen steeply in the beginning of the year but over the past two months they have come down."

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