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India sees signs of economic recovery

INDIA'S industrial production rose 1.4 percent in April, the government said yesterday, fueling hopes that Asia's third-largest economy may be on the road to recovery.

The government also said industrial production in March fell 0.75 percent from a year earlier instead of the initially estimated 2.3 percent.

April's growth was the most robust since November. Production at mines grew 3.8 percent, manufacturing grew 0.7 percent, and electricity grew 7.1 percent.

"April's industrial production data points tentatively to stabilization for the industrial sector. Demand for the industrial sector's consumer goods appears to remain weak, but this has been offset by government infrastructure and construction projects," Moody's economist Nikhilesh Bhattacharyya said.

Production of consumer durables, such as washing machines, grew 16.9 percent, while consumer non-durables contracted 10.4 percent. Production of capital goods, including heavy equipment such as forklifts and generators, slipped 1.3 percent.

India has fared better than some of its more export-dependent neighbors and Goldman Sachs said the election outcome "may help India 'decouple' further from the global economy by giving a fillip to domestic demand."

After the election, Citigroup revised its GDP growth estimate for the current fiscal year from 5.5 percent to 6.8 percent and for next year from 6.6 percent to 7.8 percent.

India's economy grew 6.7 percent for the fiscal year ended in March, down from 9 percent the previous year and its slowest since 2003.


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