India’s economy grows 8.4%, fastest pace in six quarters

India’s economy rose 8.4% in the October-December period, the fastest pace seen in six quarters and beating all estimates, partly helped by a surge in manufacturing activity, according to data released by the government on Thursday.

The growth rate was much faster than economists’ forecasts of 6.6% as seen in a Reuters poll, and higher than revised growth of 8.1% in the previous quarter.

India has been consistently beating market expectations and has been ranked as one of the fastest-growing economies in the world with China struggling to recover and the eurozone narrowly escaping a recession.

The figures are the last major economic indicator for voters to help gauge the performance of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government before national elections due before May.

The manufacturing sector, which for the past decade has accounted for just 17% of Asia’s third-largest economy, expanded 11.6% year-on-year in the December quarter, compared with a revised 14.4% in the previous three months.

The farm sector, which accounts for about 15% of the $3.7 trillion economy, contracted 0.8%, compared with 1.6% growth in the September quarter.

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