India's GDP growth rate plunges to 5.3%
Anubhuti Sahay, an economist at Standard Chartered Bank in Mumbai said the data was shocking.
India's GDP growth rate was much lower than expected and was even below the lowest forecast in a poll that had produced a median of 6.1 percent from predictions ranging between 5.5 percent and 7.3 percent.
The data highlights the unusual degree of weakening of the country's economy, likely driven by poor investment and widening trade gap, said Dariusz Kowalczyk, an economist at Credit Agricole CIB in Hong Kong.
The data also poses a dilemma for policymakers, as they have no fiscal room to stimulate growth, while monetary easing scope is very narrow, at least for now, due to rebounding and high inflation.
The growth rate in the final quarter of India's fiscal year was the lowest since 3.6 percent in the January-March quarter of 2003, data shows.
The data showed that the manufacturing sector shrank 0.3 percent in the quarter compared with a year earlier. The farm sector grew 1.7 percent.
Gross domestic product (GDP) rose 6.5 percent in the fiscal year to the end of March 2012, the lowest growth rate since 4.0 percent in 2002/03 and a sharp slowdown from the previous year's 8.5 percent.
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