UPDATE 1-India trade minister forecasts 9 pct-plus GDP growth

* Inflation expected to be brought under control

* Gov’t aims to raise share of manufacturing to a qtr of
GDP

* India’s infrastructure sector to absorb $1.7 trln in 10
yrs
(Adds quotes, details)

By Sanjeev Miglani

SINGAPORE, July 9 (BestGrowthStock) – India’s gross domestic
product growth is expected to return to “9 percent plus” this
year, the country’s Trade Minister said on Friday, led by
strong corporate performance and rising savings levels.

Anand Sharma also said he expected inflation, which is
fuelled by food demand, to be brought under control.

“We are seeing strong economic growth. We are going back
this year to plus 9 percent GDP growth,” Sharma told reporters
in Singapore at the end of a two-day trip aimed at drumming up
investment in the infrastructure sector.

The Indian finance ministry has forecast 8.5 percent growth
for Asia’s third-largest economy in the current year, following
a 7.4 expansion in the previous year. The IMF has forecast 8.8
percent growth.

Strong corporate sector performance and high levels of
saving and investment have led to higher growth, Indian
officials said last month. India is saving and investing about
34 percent of GDP, compared with around 30 percent prior to
2003.

Inflation, running at over 10 percent, has been a mounting
concern, however, but Sharma said he expected it to be brought
under control this year.

“Inflation has been there, fueled by food articles demand
and supply issues last year. We are assured this will improve
this year,” he said.

The food price index rose 12.63 percent in the year to June
26, according to data released on Thursday, easing from the
previous week’s annual rise of 12.92 percent.

Wholesale prices (INWPI=ECI: ), the most closely watched
inflation gauge in India, rose 10.16 percent in May from a year
earlier and a senior government official said it could hit 11
percent in June.

Sharma said the government aimed to boost the share of
manufacturing in GDP to 25 percent from 16 percent now and turn
the country into a manufacturing powerhouse.

He said India’s infrastructure sector offered a huge
opportunity for construction companies. “The sector is set to
absorb $1.7 trillion in the coming 10 years, that’s great
opportunity.”
(Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)

UPDATE 1-India trade minister forecasts 9 pct-plus GDP growth