Even as we move towards the monsoon season in India, Skymet Weather has forecasted a 20% chance of above normal monsoon, and a 5% chance of excess rain in 2018. This will come as a welcome relief, even as the Narendra Modi-led government looks to achieve an 8% GDP growth in FY19, especially in a monsoon reliant economy. Most parts of the country continue to witness warm and dry weather, with on and off pre-monsoon rains.
According to the report, there is 5% chance of excess rain (seasonal rainfall more than 110% of LPA); 20% chance of above normal rains (between 105-110% of LPA); 55% probablity of normal rains and 20% chance of below normal rains. Further, Skymet says that there’s a 0% chance of drought ( less than 90% LPA). LPA refers to long-period average.
According to a report by Skymet, a feeble cyclonic circulation is seen over the central and eastern parts of UP (Uttar Pradesh). Further, the report says that this expected rainfall will not have any impact on the currently high temperature in the state.
Notably, India will be counting on above normal monsoon this year to achieve the ambitiously forecasted economic growth. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said last month that the Indian economy could achieve an 8 percent-plus growth if crude oil prices stay within manageable limits and the monsoon rains turn out to be normal this year. An above average monsoon could translate to higher growth. India’s economic survey has pinpointed agriculture as one of the major focus areas for Indian economy this year.
Notably, while the Skymet has forecasted above normal monsoon, Maharashtra, a major monsoon-reliant state, has registered a decrease in farm sector output to 8.3% in 2017-18 due to a weak monsoon. This underlines the severe agrarian distress in India’s largest state economy.
A better than expected monsoon in Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh could spur overall economic growth. The decline in “agriculture and allied activities” in Maharashtra has pulled down the state’s economic growth to 7.3% during 2017-18. “We could have achieved a higher growth rate but for the negative growth in the farm sector. Still, the growth rate of 7.3% in Maharashtra is better than the national growth rate of 6.5%,” finance minister of Maharashtra, Sudhir Mungantiwar said.