The country's economic growth likely eased further to around 4.8% in the quarter ending in December, mainly as a result of deep cuts in government spending, a senior official at the statistics ministry told Reuters on Thursday.
Asia's third-largest economy had grown an annual 5.3% in the July-September quarter. The GDP data for the December quarter is due on February 28.
The comments by the official, who deals directly with the GDP data, suggest the economic slowdown is getting deeper by the quarter and an immediate rebound may not be in sight.
"If the government is cutting spending to meet the fiscal deficit target, we will have to bear the initial pains," the official said.
He also attributed the slowdown in the third quarter to the poor performance of the railways, auto and construction sectors.
Earlier on Thursday, the government said the slowest economic growth in a decade could be worse than anticipated, forecasting fiscal year economic growth of only 5.0%.