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GDPGaining momentum, economy grew by 7.9 per cent in March quarter to consolidate India’s position as the fastest growing major economy with a five-year high growth rate of 7.6 per cent for the full fiscal on robust manufacturing growth.

Enthused by the impressive numbers for 2015-16, as against 7.2 per cent in previous fiscal, the government said the growth rate can go up to 8 per cent in the current fiscal on the back of good monsoon.

The farm sector also rebounded to the growth zone, as against a contraction in previous year, although the rate of expansion was low at 1.2 per cent in 2015-16.

The industry lauded the numbers and expressed hope that better monsoon and further reforms will help expand the economy at even a faster pace.

According to the data released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) today, the growth in manufacturing and farm sectors during the fourth quarter accelerated to 9.3 per cent and 2.3 per cent, respectively.

Te core sector data in April too indicated momentum in the economic activity as it grew at rate of 8.5 per cent in the month, the highest in the last four years.

Commenting on GDP numbers, Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das said India can move towards 8 per cent growth with better agriculture production.

“The various measures that the government has been taking in the last couple of years is beginning to show results and overall there are greenshoots…this year hopefully with good monsoon we should look at a growth closer to 8 per cent,” he said.

Finance Secretary Ashok Lavasa said, “We should work towards seeing this (GDP growth) number grow. We are focusing on capital spending in infra and social spending.”

“Growth rate in the 4th quarter of 2015-16 at 7.9% almost hits the magical 8% mark. Good days ahead,” NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Arvind Panagariya tweeted.

The CSO has also revised the GDP growth rate for previous quarters of 2015-16 — 7.5 per cent for April-June, 7.6 per cent for July-September and 7.2 per cent for October-December.

The 7.6 per cent growth rate for 2015-16 is the same as projected by the CSO in its advance estimates of national income earlier in February this year.