MUMBAI, Sept 27, 2006 (AFP) – Indian first quarter gross domestic product data this week is expected to confirm widespread forecasts for Asia’s third largest economy to grow at least eight percent in the year ending March, analysts say. India’s Central Statistical Office will on Friday report economic growth for the quarter ended June, the first quarter of the fiscal year, to be as high as 8.7 percent, according to a survey of leading analysts.
The figure is expected to confirm several major forecasts, including the New Delhi-based National Council of Applied Economic Research, for growth of eight percent in the fiscal year ended March 2007, in line with estimates by the government and central bank.
“We expect first quarter growth of 8.7 percent based on industrial production data so far,” said Bidisha Ganguly, chief economist with brokerage BRICS Securities.
India’s industrial output picked up 12.4 percent year-on-year in July, the best pace in a decade, lifting analyst hopes that the economy could come close to 8.4 percent growth recorded for the year ended March 2006 — the fastest in three years.
“We see sustained eight percent-plus growth, largely matching India’s central bank projections,” said Andrew Holland, execu