Growth Drops to 5.8% as Modi Team Takes Charge

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi and members of his cabinet stand for national anthem after taking oath during swearing-in ceremony, at Rashtrapati Bhavan, in New Delhi, India, on Thursday, May 30, 2019. — HT Photo

The figure was down from 6.6 per cent in the last quarter of 2018.

NEW DELHI (AFP) — Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s new government suffered a double economic blow of slowing growth and rising unemployment as it took office on Friday.

Modi named Nirmala Sitharaman as his new finance minister in a drastically revamped nationalist administration after winning a second straight landslide in the April-May election.

But hours after India’s first full-time woman finance minister took office, the government announced the third straight fall in quarterly growth to 5.8 per cent in the first three months of the year. The figure was down from 6.6 per cent in the last quarter of 2018 and was much worse than the 6.3 per cent that many analysts had predicted.

It means India has lost its place as the world’s fastest growing major economy to China, which had 6.4 per cent growth in the first quarter.

In parallel, authorities also said the unemployment rate for 2017-2018 was 6.1 per cent, which media said was the worst since 1973.

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