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According to the Economist Fact Sheet dated as of July 3, 2009, India, with a population of over 1.14 billion people, had a Gross Domestic Product (“GDP”) on a purchasing power parity (“PPP”) basis of approximately US$3,363.00 billion in 2008. This made it the fourth largest economy in the world, on a PPP basis, after the United States, China and Japan.

According to the RBI’s Macroeconomic and Monetary Developments Third Quarter Review 2009-10 dated as of Jan 28, 2010, India is one of the fastest growing large economies in the world with a GDP growth of 7.9 per cent during the second quarter of 2009-10, Industrial Production growth of 7.6 percent, and a Non-food credit growth of 14.4 per cent. The core infrastructure sector showed a higher growth at 4.8 per cent during April-December 2009, as compared with 3.2 per cent growth in the corresponding period of the previous year. The higher growth was driven mainly by cement, coal, electricity and finished steel. But, Inflation emerged as a major concern during the third quarter, dominated by significant supply factors. On year on year basis, WPI headline inflation in December 2009 was at 7.3 per cent, whereas WPI inflation excluding food articles was 2.1 per cent, which suggests the concentrated nature of the inflation so far. Food items (i.e. primary and manufactured) with a combined weight of 27 per cent in the WPI basket have exhibited 21.9 per cent increase in prices.

The overall economic outlook is, therefore, a mixture of upside prospects of recovery and downside risks. Managing this trade­off between supporting growth and reining in inflation expectations poses a complex policy challenge.