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India's finance minister sees 5.5% quarterly growth

Published on Nov 24, 2012 9:30 PM

NEW DELHI (AFP) - India's economy logged around 5.5 per cent growth in the third quarter, a rate that could boost calls for lower interest rates to spur growth, Finance Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram estimated on Saturday.

India's once-booming economy has been hit by high interest rates, Europe's debt crisis that has slowed exports, and sluggish investment caused by domestic and overseas concerns about policy and corruption.

Mr Chidambaram said in televised remarks that he expected official data to be released next Friday to show that the economy grew by "around 5.5 per cent" in the three months to Sept 30. That would be down from 6.9 per cent in the same second-quarter period a year earlier.

"It goes without saying that we face a difficult situation," Mr Chidambaram said at a bankers' conference, adding the "global economy is still in crisis".

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