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Covid-hit GDP may shrink 7.7% in FY21

Covid-hit GDP may shrink 7.7% in FY21
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Covid-hit GDP may shrink 7.7% in FY21

Highlights

Contraction will not be steep as projected by IMF, WB: NSO

New Delhi: India's GDP is estimated to contract by a record 7.7 per cent during 2020-21 as the Covid-19 pandemic severely hit the key manufacturing and services segments, as per government projections released on Thursday.

Amid overall decline in economic activities, some respite was provided by the agriculture sector and utility services like power and gas supply, which have been projected to post positive growth during the current fiscal ending March 2021. "Real GDP or GDP at Constant Prices (2011-12) in the year 2020-21 is likely to attain a level of Rs 134.40 lakh crore, as against the Provisional Estimate of GDP for the year 2019-20 of Rs 145.66 lakh crore... "The growth in real GDP during 2020-21 is estimated at -7.7 per cent as compared to the growth rate of 4.2 per cent in 2019-20," said the first advanced estimates of national income released by the National Statistical Office (NSO).

The contraction in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), however, would not be as steep as projected by certain international agencies like the IMF and World Bank. NSO also estimates the Real Gross Value Added (GVA) at basic prices at Rs 123.39 lakh crore in 2020-21, as against Rs 133.01 lakh crore in 2019-20, showing a contraction of 7.2 per cent.

GVA does not factor in net taxes. GVA in the key manufacturing sector is likely to see a contraction of 9.4 per cent during 2020-21 as compared to a flat growth of 0.03 per cent in the year ago period. 'Mining and quarrying', and 'trade, hotels, transport, communication and services related to broadcasting' GVAs are likely to contract by 12.4 per cent and 21.4 per cent, respectively.

Construction sector contracts

The construction sector too is projected to contract by 12.6 per cent, 'public administration, defence and other services' by 3.7 per cent, and 'financial, real estate, and professional services' by 0.8 per cent, as per the data. On the other hand, 'agriculture, forestry and fishing' sector has been projected to grow at 3.4 per cent during the fiscal. The sector had posted a growth of 4 per cent in 2019-20. Similarly, 'electricity, gas, water supply and other utility services' are likely to post a growth of 2.7 per cent during the year ending March 2021. This compares with 4.1 per cent expansion during 2019-20. The economy contracted by a massive 23.9 per cent in the first quarter and 7.5 per cent in the second quarter on account of the Covid-19 pandemic. The government has been stressing that economic activities are picking up post gradual unlocking of the economy and stimulus packages, and the country would witness a V-shaped growth.

The RBI had said that second half of the fiscal is expected to show some positive growth. RBI has forecasted real GDP growth at (-) 7.5 per cent in 2020-21, which is an improvement over its previous projection of 9.5 per cent contraction.

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