GDP growth slows down Auto driv­ers’ strike a blow to 7.1%, but there’s hope for com­muters in sub­urbs

WHAT TO EX­PECT Monsoon and up­com­ing fes­tive sea­son may pro­vide boost

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - HT Cor­re­spon­dent let­ters@hin­dus­tan­ HT Cor­re­spon­dent ht­metro@hin­dus­tan­

In­dia’s econ­omy grew 7.1% dur­ing April to June, the slow­est in 15 months, but a pick up is likely in the next few months rid­ing on good rains, a pay bo­nanza for gov­ern­ment em­ploy­ees and fes­tive-sea­son buy­ing.

The slow­down could also be partly be­cause of a high base ef­fect — a sta­tis­ti­cal phe­nom­e­non that mag­ni­fies small changes, al­though the real fall may not be very large.

Growth of real or in­fla­tion­ad­justed gross do­mes­tic prod­uct (GDP) — the value of all goods and ser­vices pro­duced in the coun­try — mod­er­ated from 7.9% in Jan­uary to March and from 7.5% in April-June 2015, na­tional in­come data re­leased on Wed­nes­day showed.

De­spite the slow­down, In­dia re­mains the world’s fastest­grow­ing ma­jor econ­omy, ahead of 6.7% growth in China that is bat­tling an in­dus­trial de­cel­er­a­tion.

The man­u­fac­tur­ing sec­tor grew 9.1% dur­ing the quar­ter from 7.3% in the same quar­ter of the pre­vi­ous year and 9.3% in Jan­uary to March.

Growth in the con­struc­tion sec­tor slowed to 1.5% in April-June from 5.6% in the same pe­riod of 2015 and 4.5% in Jan­uary to March 2016.

Ab­heek Barua, chief economist, HDFC Bank, said, “While an un­favourable base ef­fect is at play, there is a likely slow­down in ser­vices sec­tor ac­tiv­ity, which alone ex­plains more than half of the mod­er­a­tion in over­all growth.”

The lat­est data came on a day the gov­ern­ment eased dis­pute set­tle­ment rules, which will make more funds avail­able and speed up stalled con­struc­tion and re­alty projects.

Com­muters in the sub­urbs strug­gled on Wed­nes­day as a ma­jor­ity of au­torick­shaws were off the roads be­cause of a strike called by the Mum­bai Au­torick­shaw­men’s Union. The union’s pri­mary de­mand: Reg­u­la­tion of app-based cabs such as Ola and Uber. No other taxi or au­torick­shaw union sup­ported the strike.

Af­ter sub­ur­ban trains and Bri­han­mum­bai Elec­tric Sup­ply and Trans­port Un­der­tak­ing (BEST) buses, au­torick­shaws are the third-largest mode of pub­lic trans­port in the fi­nan­cial Com­muters strug­gle to get in a BEST bus out­side Kurla sta­tion (West) on Wed­nes­day.

cap­i­tal of the coun­try. So af­ter more than 80,000 au­torick­shaws went off the roads, com­muters were left in the lurch and had to opt for other op­tions like BEST

buses, black-and-yel­low cabs, Ola and Uber cabs and pri­vate ve­hi­cles.

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