Here are 10 things to know about the country's GDP:
Economists expect the country's GDP to contract 8.8 per cent in the quarter ended September 30, according to a poll by news agency Reuters. They also predict a contraction of 3 per cent in the December quarter, followed by expansion of 0.5 per cent in the final January-March period of financial year 2020-21. (Also Read: At -23.9%, GDP Contracts At Its Steepest Pace On Record)
Still, the economy is on track to register an overall contraction of 8.7 per cent over the full year, which, if true, would be its worst performance in more than four decades. Meanwhile, COVID-19-related restrictions have caused thousands of job losses and forced majority of the workforce to stay indoors — a big blow to an already-slowing economy.
The economy is expected to recover early next year on hopes of better consumer demand fed by progress on coronavirus vaccines, say economists, who have marginally raised forecasts following a pickup in consumer demand for automobiles, non-durables and rail freight during the festival season.
There has been a drop in the country's daily coronavirus cases, which have tapered off to half of its peak of more than 97,000 infections a day in mid-September. COVID-19 infections in India have crossed 9.27 million, making it the world's second most affected country after the US.
As some states re-imposed curbs this week to fight a second wave of infections, businesses feared the restrictions could slow the pace of recovery in the next two or three months, as well as heighten the risk of inflation.
Many economists expect the economy to return to expansion mode as soon as in the December quarter, as the pickup sustains. Optimism on a rebound in economy is backed by improving car sales and services sector performance, as the country continues to gradually remove restrictions to curb infections.
The economy was pushed to a record contraction in the June quarter, following months of low demand and business activity much before the COVID-19 outbreak.
Recently, the government announced additional stimulus measures under its Atmanirbhar Bharat series of announcements. Under Atmanirbhar Bharat 3.0, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman listed measures worth Rs 2.65 lakh crore with a focus on job creation and sectors such as real estate, taking the total monetary and fiscal aid in the country's battle against COVID-19 to Rs 29.88 lakh crore or 15 per cent of its GDP.
On Thursday, RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das highlighted a stronger-than-expected recovery from the coronavirus-led lockdown, hinting at continued monetary policy support to revive the economy. The RBI chief's remarks in his address at an event come days ahead of the central bank's scheduled bi-monthly policy review.
The RBI has been doing the heavy lifting on providing stimulus to the economy, having lowered the key benchmark rates by a total 115 basis points (1.15 percentage point) so far this calendar year. The central bank has infused liquidity and transferred crores of rupees in dividend to the government, despite inflation remaining well beyond its comfort level of 2-6 per cent.