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Lockdown Shrinks Economy Further by 23.9% in April-June, a First in Decades

Construction, manufacturing, mining sectors see sharpest decline in gross value added. Only agriculture does relatively well.
Lockdown Shrinks Economy

New Delhi: India's GDP (gross domestic product) shrank by the steepest ever 23.9% in the April-June period as the coronavirus lockdowns battered an already slowing economy, official data showed on Monday.

Agriculture was the only outlier as all other sectors, including manufacturing, construction and services, suffered steep declines.

India's economy had grown by 5.2% in the same quarter of last fiscal, as per the data released by the National Statistical Office (NSO).

The government had imposed a sudden nationwide lockdown from March 25, 2020 to curb the spread of COVID-19 infections which adversely impacted all sectors of the economy.

According to the data, gross value added (GVA) growth in the manufacturing sector contracted by 39.3% in the first quarter of 2020-21, from 3% expansion a year ago.

However, farm sector GVA grew at 3.4%, compared with 3 per cent in the corresponding period of 2019-20.

Construction sector GVA contracted by a whopping 50.3% from 5.2% expansion earlier. Mining sector output declined at 23.3%, against a growth of 4.7% year ago.

Electricity, gas, water supply and other utility services segment too shrank by 7% in the first quarter of 2020-21, against 8.8% growth a year ago.

Similarly, trade, hotel, transport, communication and services related to broadcasting declined 47% in the first quarter from 3.5% growth earlier.

Financial, real estate and professional services fell by 5.3% in Q1 FY21 from 6% growth in same period last fiscal.

Public administration, defence and other services too saw a decline of 10.3% during the quarter under review, from 7.7% growth a year earlier.

"GDP at Constant (2011-12) Prices in Q1 of 2020-21 is estimated at Rs 26.90 lakh crore, against Rs 35.35 lakh crore in Q1 of 2019-20, showing a contraction of 23.9% as compared to 5.2% growth in Q1 2019-20," the NSO said in a statement.

"With a view to containing spread of the Covid-19 pandemic, restrictions were imposed on the economic activities not deemed essential, as also on the movement of people from 25 March, 2020.

"Though the restrictions have been gradually lifted, there has been an impact on the economic activities as well as on the data collection mechanisms," it added.

It also said the timelines for filing statutory returns were extended by most regulatory bodies.

"In these circumstances, the usual data sources were substituted by alternatives like GST, interactions with professional bodies etc. and which were clearly limited," it said.

The Centre began easing the lockdown for certain economic activities April 20 onward.

Most rating agencies had projected contraction in India's GDP for the first quarter of 2020-21.

China's economy grew by 3.2% in April-June after recording a decline of 6.8% in January-March 2020.

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