India: marking time
While the monsoon has been kind to India this summer and is likely to help a recovery in cement demand next year, India’s cement producers are still marking time as they wait for more sustained, double-digit growth reminiscent of better times in the past. Eyes, and hopes, are set on FY17-18.
Despite being one of the world’s fastest-growing economies, India faced a setback after the country witnessed the lowest GDP growth in five quarters in April-June of the current FY16-17, according to Indian government statistics released in August (see Figure 1). GDP expansion fell below economists’ expectations, landing at 7.1 per cent during the quarter, underperforming in comparison to the 7.4-7.8 per cent range predicted. The contraction has been attributed mainly to the performance of key sectors such as agriculture, mining and quarrying, and construction. During the corresponding quarter of FY15-16, India’s GDP expanded 7.5 per cent and in the immediate preceding quarter of January-March 2016 growth stood at 7.9 per cent.