There is now little doubt that the economy has lost momentum over the past year. The latest figures from the Central Statistics Office are hard to ignore.
Several points are worth noting. Not only do these figures show a slowdown at the yearly level, but even within the year, across quarters, a slowdown appears to be evident.
Here are the relevant quarterly figures for growth (in gross value added at basic prices, adjusted for base year 2011-12). Growth in the fourth quarter of 2015-16, i.e. January to March 2016: 8.7 per cent. In the first quarter of 2016-17, i.e. April to June 2016: 7.6 per cent. For July to September 2016: 6.8 per cent. For October to December 2016: 6.7 per cent. And finally, for the first quarter of this calendar year: 5.6 per cent. A fairly straightforward decline from 8.7 per cent quarterly growth to 5.6 per cent quarterly growth — and that too in a year with an excellent monsoon and a reviving world economy.