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Oct-Mar GDP growth likely to be at 4.5-5 percent

India's economy is likely to grow 4.5-5 percent in the second half of the current fiscal, the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) Sunday said.

Ruling out the possibility of any significant improvement in GDP growth in the second half (October-March), the CII said its CEOs’ poll predicts "the economy in the second half would grow in the range of 4.5-5 percent".

The economy grew by 4.6 percent in the first six months of the current financial year.

"However, the survey revealed that the percentage of respondents expecting GDP to grow higher in a range of 5.0-5.5 percent increased sharply from 13 percent in third quarter to 29 percent in fourth quarter," CII said.

"This clearly mean the economy may have already bottomed out in the previous quarter and recovery process may already be in place, albeit fragile," the report added, noting that political uncertainty was the biggest concern.

The survey, conducted at CII's National Council meeting, says that to hasten the clearances of the held-up projects, the government should halve the threshold limit of fast-track projects from the current level of Rs.1,000 crore.

"High food inflation, growth uncertainty and rising borrowing costs have all impeded consumer demand. With inflation showing some signs of moderation, it is time that the monetary policy is now directed at stimulating growth," said CII director general Chandrajit Banerjee.

According to the report, exports are likely to increase at a moderate pace during the current quarter.

For the April-December period, exports aggregated $230.3 billion and imports $340.3 billion, and the trade deficit stood at $110 billion.