The coming week may begin on a positive note, when the growth figures for the 2010 fiscal will be released on Monday, as most economists believe that the economy would have expanded higher than the official advance estimate of 7.2 per cent.
As per the official estimate made before the year came to an end, FY10 GDP growth was forecast at 7.2 per cent. And none of the economists PTI spoke to expect any lesser number, and, in fact, their forecasts touch as high as 7.5 per cent.
For the fourth quarter, economists expect the economy to have grown anywhere between 8.7 and 9.3 per cent. The government will unveil the GDP data on Monday morning.
"The fourth quarter GDP number is expected to surprise us positively due to a possible upside...it is likely to be printed at 9.3 per cent," said Religare's Jay Shankar.
The first three quarters of the past fiscal grew by 6.1 per cent, 7.9 per cent and 6 per cent in that order.
Shankar also expects a positive, marginal upward revision in the numbers for the other three quarters as well, which he said could move the FY10 GDP numbers closer to 7.5 per cent.
The chief statistician Pronab Sen, too, had recently said FY10 would have grown by 7.2 per cent to 7.5 per cent.
Rating agency Crisil chief economist Dharmakriti Joshi also had a better outlook than the advance estimates. "I expect 8.7 per cent growth in the fourth quarter. And, for full the fiscal, I expect it to be 7.3 per cent," Joshi said.
Chief economic advisor Kaushik Basu, too, had predicted the fourth quarter growth of over 8.6 per cent, which will ensure FY10 growth over the official estimate of 7.2 per cent.
Axis Bank economist Saugata Bhattacharya said, "the Q4 GDP growth is likely to be 8.8 per cent, and the full fiscal would have grown by 7.2 per cent, same as what the government expects."
Economic growth slowed down to 6.7 per cent in 2008-09 after over 9 per cent growth in the previous three fiscals as it came under the impact of global financial crisis.
Government stimulus to the industry pushed growth to 7.9 per cent in the second quarter of 2009-10, much higher than 6.1 per cent in the first quarter. However, growth again slipped to 6 per cent in the third quarter as agriculture production contracted by 2.8 per cent and community, social and personal services slipped by 2.2 per cent.
For the economy to grow by 7.2 per cent, it must expand by over 8.5 per cent in Q4, in case the figures for the previous quarters are retained.