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India posts quarterly growth of 5.5 percent, beats forecasts

NEW DELHI -- India logged slightly faster quarterly growth of 5.5 percent on Friday, and analysts said the nation's economy may have “bottomed out” though any recovery would be modest.

While growth is still stuck around three-year lows, the official figure for the three months to June marked a small improvement on the previous quarter's 5.3 percent expansion and marginally outpaced market forecasts.

The figure for the first financial quarter “gives reason to be cautiously optimistic that growth may have bottomed out, barring a further worsening of the debt crisis in Europe,” said HSBC's chief India economist Leif Eskesen.

Agricultural output rose by 2.9 percent, while industrial production remained broadly unchanged at 0.8 percent expansion, as did services at 7.4 percent, the data from the national statistics office showed.

“Year-on-year growth may well have hit bottom, but any pick-up will be modest,” said Credit Suisse economist Robert Prior-Wandesforde.

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