India’s Deepening Slowdown Faces Fresh Risks from Virus

India’s economy slowed to a more than six-year low in the final three months of last year. and it now faces a fresh threat from the coronavirus outbreak.

Data on Friday showed growth decelerated to 4.7% in the three months through December from a year ago. the third straight quarter of decline and matching the median forecast in a Bloomberg survey of economists. That was before the virus began spreading early this year. disrupting global supply chains as China shut factories and restricted the movement of people to contain the epidemic.

The slowdown was from a revised 5.1% growth witnessed in the previous three months and a far cry from the 8.1% expansion seen in the quarter to March 2018. The soft numbers came on the back of flagging investments and subdued consumption in the October to December quarter. That backed a growing view that a recovery will be uneven. with a slew of high-frequency indicators showing consumption — which accounts for 60% of gross domestic product — is still weak.

The government retained its estimate of 5% GDP growth for the fiscal year through March. an 11-year low.

Growth decelerated further in the last quarter of 2019 confirming our view that a bottom may not yet be in place. said Priyanka Kishore. Singapore- based head of India and Southeast Asia Economics at Oxford Economics Ltd. While there are some green shoots. patchy hard data points toward a fragile recovery. prone to downside risks.

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