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India projects growth at 4.9% as polls loom

Published on Feb 8, 2014 1:46 AM
A cashier counts Indian rupee currency notes inside a bank in Mumbai. --PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW DELHI (AFP) - India on Friday forecast economic growth would rise to nearly five per cent this financial year from 4.5 per cent last year, despite monetary tightening that analysts have said will slow expansion.

The country's gross domestic product will expand 4.9 per cent in the fiscal year to March 2014 from last year's decade low of 4.5 per cent growth, the statistics ministry estimated.

The forecast came despite a string of increases in India's main lending rate aimed at slowing consumer price inflation at nearly 10 per cent and government spending cuts to tame a gaping fiscal deficit.

The forecast growth rate is well below the near double-digit rates India notched up during boom times and far from the economic turnaround the Congress-led government has been seeking, as it faces elections due by May.

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