Slowdown: Economy to grow at 8.7%
New Delhi: Just when you were getting used to 9% growth, the government’s statistics office on Thursday said GDP would rise by 8.7% in the current financial year, compared with 9.6% last year and 9.4% in 2005-06. While Reserve Bank of India’s interest rate hike to keep inflation under check is expected to see the manufacturing sector grow by 9.4% in 2007-08, compared with 12% last year, construction activity is also likely to slow down. But the blame mainly fell on the usual suspect — agriculture — with farm output projected to rise by 2.6% this year, as against 3.8% in 2006-07. The Central Statistical Organisation’s estimates, however, have already been questioned, with finance minister P Chidambaram saying the agriculture ministry, which released crop output estimates on Thursday, “not sharing the assessment that agriculture growth will be only 2.6%”.