India's economy likely to grow at healthy 7%, gov't says

NEW DELHI — India's government says the economy is expected to grow at 7% in 2019-20, up from a five-year low of 6.8% in the past year.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presents the economic report in Parliament on Thursday, a day before unveiling the annual federal budget. India's financial year runs April-March.

Economic growth slowed to a five-year low of 5.8% in the January-March quarter with consumer spending and corporate investment faltering. Declining industrial output and automobile sales also raised fears of a deeper slowdown.

The ministry attributed the slowdown to national elections and said higher economic growth is likely, with oil prices expected to decline in coming months.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is facing strong pressure to help keep growth robust and create jobs for India's 1.3 billion people

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