India keeps its crown as the fastest-growing major economy in the world

  • Economic growth in India was 8.2% in the second quarter.
  • That beat expectations for 7.6% growth and surpassed previous quarter GDP of 7.7%.
  • A strong manufacturing sector and isolation from ongoing trade tensions helped power growth, analysts say.

India’s economy expanded more than 8% between April and June from a year earlier, as a surge in manufacturing activity and spending powered the world’s sixth-largest economy to its fastest growth in more than two years.

Gross domestic product in the country grew 8.2% year-over-year last quarter, according to government data out Friday, up from 7.7% in the first three months of 2018. Analysts had forecast 7.6% growth. India is the world’s fastest-growing economy and expanding more quickly than China, which reported 6.7% economic growth in the second quarter.

CLSA analyst Christopher Wood noted resilience in the Indian stock market could signal the economy is accelerating at a time when many other markets in Asia may be near cyclical peaks. Isolation from an ongoing global trade war could be behind recent strength, he added.

“One reason why is that India, as primarily a domestic-driven economy, is clearly much less exposed to Trump-driven trade concerns,” Wood said.

Growth also surpassed forecasts by the Reserve Bank of India, which has been grappling with a broad emerging market currency sell-off that has helped send the rupee to all-time lows. The central bank raised its benchmark rate by 50 basis points to 6.5% at its past two policy meetings.

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