India's economic growth at slowest rate in a decade

An factory worker welds at an air conditioner manufacturing facility near Ahmedabad
Image caption The decline in India's growth rate has been blamed on a slowdown in its manufacturing and services sectors

India's economy grew at its slowest pace in a decade during the 2012-13 financial year, figures show.

The economy grew by 5% over the year, after having grown at an annual pace of 4.8% in the January-to-March quarter.

India was recording annual growth of 9% until two years ago, but in recent months it has seen a sharp decline blamed on a slowdown in its manufacturing and services sectors.

Foreign investors have also kept away due to delays in key reforms.

According to the latest figures released by the ministry of statistics, India's manufacturing sector grew at an annual pace of 2.6% during the latest quarter while farm output rose by just 1.4%.

The figures are in line with official estimates. In February, India lowered its growth forecast to 5% for the year, underlining the challenges it faced in reviving the sluggish economy.

Last month, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said the current downturn was "temporary" and he was confident the country's economy would bounce back to an "8% growth rate".

However, the mood has remained pessimistic in the business community with industry leaders worried over high rates of inflation.

The slowing economy has also meant that Indian companies are putting less profit back into their businesses.

Annual capital investment growth slowed to 3.5% in the first three months of 2013, down from 4.5% year-on-year in the previous quarter.

Meanwhile, complex business regulations are often blamed for driving foreign companies away.

Foreign direct investment into India has fallen, while the amount of corporate money leaving the country is on the rise.

"The government needs to go all-out to turn around investment sentiment," said Yes Bank chief economist Shubhada Rao.

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