India defies expectations to retain the title of the world's fastest growing major economy, despite the pain caused by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's shock crackdown on cash. Samantha Vadas reports.
India retaining the title of the world's fastest growing major economy on Wednesday (March 1) after its GDP growth came in at a robust 7 percent at the end of 2016, despite New Delhi's shock cash crackdown. The outcome for the quarter to December defying expectations. Analysts in a Reuters poll had predicted a much lower rate of 6.4 percent. Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a decision in November to rid old 500 and 1000 rupee notes, scrapping 86 percent of the cash in circulation almost overnight. The move - aimed at fighting tax evasion and corruption - has left small businesses across the country in disarray. One manufacturer telling Reuters the cash crunch had meant customers were only buying essentials. The demonetisation was expected to take its toll on the country's economy. Little surprise then as to why Tuesday's (February 28) healthy GDP rate has left economists scratching their heads. Not to mention why there are fresh doubts about the quality of India's data reporting.