Hit by pandemic curbs, India’s quarterly growth slows to 4%

NEW DELHI (AP) — India’s economic growth, hit by pandemic curbs and price increases, slowed to 4.1% in the January-March quarter, according to figures released Tuesday by the government.

It was the slowest pace in the financial year that ended in March, following 5.4% growth in the previous quarter.

Overall, India’s economy grew by 8.7% in the 2021-22 financial year, slower than the 8.9% estimated by a government survey in February.

India’s economy, Asia’s third largest, was recovering from a pandemic-induced slump when a surge in omicron-fueled coronavirus cases starting in January prompted authorities to bring back some virus-related restrictions.

A month later, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine pushed up retail inflation, which hit an eight-year high of 7.8% in April.

Earlier this month, the federal government restricted wheat and sugar exports and cut fuel taxes in an attempt to control inflation and keep commodity prices in check.

Last week, rating agency Moody’s trimmed India’s growth forecast to 8.8% from 9.1% for the current fiscal year, which started in April, as rising energy and food prices hit consumer spending.

India’s economy contracted by 6.6% in the 2020-21 financial year.

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