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Indian Economy - Overview

Indian economy has been witnessing a phenomenal growth since the last decade. The country is still holding its ground in the midst of the current global financial crisis. In fact, global investment firm, Moodys, says that driven by renewed growth in India and China, the world economy is beginning to recover from the one of the worst economic downturns in decades.

The growth in real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) at factor cost stood at 6.7 per cent in 2008-09. While the sector-wise growth of GDP in agriculture, forestry and fishing was at 1.6 per cent in 2008-09, industry witnessed growth to 3.9 per cent of the GDP in 2008-09.

The Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, on August 15, 2009, in his address to the nation on its 63rd Independence Day, said that the Government will take every possible step to restore annual economic growth to 9 per cent.

Further, the World Bank has projected an 8 per cent growth for India in 2010, which will make it the fastest-growing economy for the first time, overtaking Chinas expected 7.7 per cent growth.

A number of leading indicators, such as increase in hiring, freight movement at major ports and encouraging data from a number of key manufacturing segments, such as steel and cement, indicate that the downturn has bottomed out and highlight the Indian economy's resilience. Recent indicators from leading indices, such as Nomura's Composite Leading Index (CLI), UBS' Lead Economic Indicator (LEI) and ABN Amro' Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI), too bear out this optimism in the Indian economy.

Industrial output as measured by the index of industrial production (IIP) clocked an annual growth rate of 6.8 per cent in July 2009, according to the Central Statistical Organisation.

Significantly, among the major economies in the Asia-Pacific region, India's private domestic consumption as share of GDP, at 57 per cent in 2008, was the highest, according to an analysis by the McKinsey Global Institute.

Meanwhile, foreign institutional investors (FIIs) turned net buyers in the Indian market in 2009. FIIs inflows into the Indian equity markets have touched US$ 10 billion in the April to September period of 2009-10.

Foreign direct investments (FDI) into India went up from US$ 25.1 billion in 2007 to US$ 46.5 billion in 2008, achieving a 85.1 per cent growth in FDI flows, the highest across countries, according to a recent study by the United Nations Conference on Trade & Development (UNCTAD).

According to the Asian Development Bank's (ADB) 'Asia Capital Markets Monitor' report, the Indian equity market has emerged as the third biggest after China and Hong Kong in the emerging Asian region, with a market capitalisation of nearly US$ 600 billion.

The Economic scenario

Indian investors have emerged as the most optimistic group in Asia, according to the Quarterly Investor Dashboard Sentiment survey by global financial services group, ING. As per the survey, around 84 per cent of the Indian respondents expect the stock market to rise in the third quarter of 2009.

With foreign assets growing by more than 100 per cent annually in recent years, Indian multinational enterprises (MNEs) have become significant investors in global business markets and India is rapidly staking a claim to being a true global business power, according to a survey by the Indian School of Business and the Vale Columbia Center on Sustainable International Investment.

In its optimistic report on Macroeconomic and Monetary Development of the economy in 2009, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said overall business sentiment was slated for a sharp improvement from that in the April-June 2009 quarter.

Further, India and China will soon emerge as the preferred destinations for foreign investors, revealed Economy.com, the research arm of global rating agency Moody's.

The rural India growth story

The Indian growth story is spreading to the rural and semi-urban areas as well. The next phase of growth is expected to come from rural markets with rural India accounting for almost half of the domestic retail market, valued over US$ 300 billion. Rural India is set to witness an economic boom, with per capita income having grown by 50 per cent over the last 10 years, mainly on account of rising commodity prices and improved productivity. Development of basic infrastructure, generation of employment guarantee schemes, better information services and access to funding are also bringing prosperity to rural households.

Per Capita Income

Per capita income of Indian individuals stood at US$ 773.54 in 2008-09, according to Central Statistical Organisation data. The per capita income in India stood at US$ 687.03 in 2007-08 and has risen by over one-third from US$ 536.79 in 2005-06 to US$ 773.54 in 2008-09.

Advantage India
Growth potential

Exchange rate used:
1 USD = 49.58 INR (as on February 2009)
1 USD = 49.82 INR (as on April 2009)

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