NEW DELHI: India forecast annual growth of 7.3 percent in the fiscal year ending in March, the highest rate of any of the major global economies, providing a boost for Prime Minister Narendra Modi ahead of the national elections scheduled to be held before May.

“These are early projections for 2023/24,” the National Statistical Office (NSO) said in a statement on Friday, adding improved data coverage, actual tax receipts and spending on state subsidies could affect subsequent revisions.

The first advance estimates of annual gross domestic product follow last month’s increased forecast to 7% from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), up from an earlier estimate of 6.5%.

Analysts said growth exceeding 7% for a third year in a row in the context of a global slowdown would help Modi to win a third term to rule Asia’s third-largest economy.

“This growth comes at a time when global conditions remain weak and its credit goes to how the government is managing the economy,” Rahul Bajoria, economist at Barclays Investment Bank, said.

S&P Global Ratings expects India will remain the fastest-growing major economy for the next three years, putting it on track to become the world’s third-largest economy by 2030, overtaking Japan and Germany. India’s economy grew 7.2% in 2022/23 and 8.7% in 2021/22.

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