The number matched the performance of Asia's third largest economy in the January-March quarter, which was the weakest growth rate in three years. "The growth is bottoming and we will see an improvement from here, though not a very strong improvement," said Robert Prior-Wandesforde, director of Asian economics research for Credit Suisse in Singapore.
Growth was dragged down by subdued manufacturing output growth of 0.8% on the year and farming output of 1.2%. The number was lower than indicated by the finance minister, Palaniappan Chidambaram, last week when he warned that India faced "a difficult situation" and needed innovation to boost output.
4 How Syria shut off the internet (Caleb Garling in San Francisco Chronicle) In the classic analogy of a highway, the Internet has points where the information exits into a particular country. Electronic checkpoints allow one country's exit to interface with the greater Web highway, like the stoplight at the end of an exit. If the country's Internet service provider - a private business that manage the nation's network - barricades the exit, the country loses connectivity with the rest of the world.
Few outside of Syria know the exact sequence of events that led the country to go dark. But, it's probably as simple as a phone call or two from someone in authority. Syria has one Internet service provider, Syrian Telecommunications Establishment (Syriatel). In light of the advancing rebels, a call from President Bashar Assad (or one of his staff) could tell Syriatel, a company that is virtually an extension of the government, to turn off the Internet.
The emergence of dazzling wealth in a country that was long a byword for poverty is certainly noteworthy, but the "gilded age" metaphor can potentially mislead. To begin with, in per capita terms late 19th century America was already one of the richest countries in the world. The International Monetary Fund ranks India 130th of 185 countries on this score. Similarly, in terms of technology, 19th century America gave the world the telephone, the electric bulb, and much else. Even the loudest India booster can't claim that it occupies an analogous place in the front ranks of innovation.
After its election in 2004, the India government assumed tax revenues will keep rising. It ignored wealth creation by postponing structural reforms, and instead focused on redistribution through a rural jobs guarantee in 2005 and, now, a proposed food security bill. This political turn has affected the legitimate ways India's world-class companies were creating wealth. The economy can't hope to prosper without their active cooperation, but faced with policy drift and corruption many are choosing to invest overseas rather than domestically. The Mumbai-headquartered Tata Group, for example, now derives nearly 60% of its $100 billion in revenues from abroad.
In practical terms, this means finding ways to combat cronyism without adding to the woes of a private sector already overburdened by red tape and lackluster decision making. In philosophical terms, it means recognizing that India's problem isn't too many Ponty Chadhas, but too few Ratan Tatas. Only then can India hope to truly enter a gilded age.