The Central Statistics Office (CSO) pegged India’s FY13 gross domestic product (GDP) at 5 percent On Thursday. A CNBC-TV18 poll expected it to be around 5.5 percent. Key equity benchmarks did not moved much even as the CSO pulled down the estimate.
In a CNBC-TV18 poll most experts said that their former GDP estimate was at Rs 54.85 or Rs 54.90 lakh crore for FY13 given a 5.4 percent growth. But, the CSO has estimated FY13 at Rs 55.03 lakh crore, which is Rs 20-25,000 crore more than analysts’ expectations.
The GDP forecast came in at 5 percent because only last week the CSO had revised last years GDP higher by Rs 40,000 crore whereas the original estimate was nearly Rs 52.03 lakh crore. It got revised up to 52.43 lakh crore. Although the current CSO-GDP estimate is Rs 20,000 crore more than what economists were expecting because the base is Rs 40,000 crore more, the gap looks just 5 percent higher and not 5.4 percent higher.
This is more a statistical game or a puzzle because previous year estimates were revised higher so the rate of growth looks lower. Otherwise it is not as if this is fresh slowdown news. One is right in arguing that this is a slowdown whether it is 5.4 percent or 5 percent and we need reforms.
The RBI and the government have to be keen on all that, but it should not be looked at as a fresh bout of slowdown. Actually, the output put out by the CSO is Rs 20,000 crore more than what the analyst thought. A lot goes into these GDP numbers and when one reads between the lines it is realized that it the number is actually not the shocker that the headline number seems to suggest.