New Delhi: India's economy recovered faster than expected in the September quarter as a pick-up in manufacturing helped GDP clock a lower contraction of 7.5 percent and held out hopes for further improvement on better consumer demand.
The gross domestic product (GDP) had contracted by a record 23.9 percent in the first quarter of the 2020-21 fiscal (April 2020 to March 2021) as the coronavirus lockdown pummelled economic activity.
With the gradual opening up from June, the economy has picked up, according to official data released on Friday.
Manufacturing clocked a surprise 0.6 percent growth in July-September after it had shrunk by a massive 39 percent in the preceding quarter.
Continuing its good showing, the agriculture sector grew by 3.4 percent, while the trade and services sector showed lower-than-expected contraction at 15.6 percent.
Public spending was down 12 percent.
The GDP contraction of 7.5 percent in July-September compares with a growth of 4.4 percent in the same quarter last year.
China's economy grew by 4.9 percent in July-September this year, faster than the 3.2 percent growth in April-June 2020.
Though the contraction in July-September pushed India into its first technical recession, based on records going back to 1996, a sharp recovery held out hopes for the economy turning around before the end of the fiscal year.
Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Shaktikanta Das had on Thursday stated that the recovery from the lockdown has been stronger than expected and the economy could show growth in the fourth quarter.
The improvement in the economy came ahead of next week's interest rate decision by the RBI and coincides with a drop in India's daily virus cases, which have tapered off to half of its peak of more than 97,000 infections a day in mid-September.