India’s economic growth rate fell to an 11-year low of 4.2 per cent in the 2019-20 financial year, government data shows, as the country heads for a recession due to the impact of the coronavirus.

India’s financial year runs from April to March.

Gross domestic product (GDP) growth in the final January-to-March quarter of 2019-20 was recorded at 3.1 per cent, a statement from the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation said.

Friday’s figures for the full year marked the slowest rate of growth for Asia’s third-largest economy since 2008-09, when GDP grew 3.1 per cent.

The manufacturing and construction sectors contracted in the past quarter. Only agriculture and government services showed growth.

India’s GDP expanded by 6.1 per cent in the previous financial year of 2018-19.

Economists and analysts said the GDP figures released on Friday did not show the full impact of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The data only incorporates the final week of March, when India’s government imposed the lockdown, impeding an already-slowing economy and forcing many businesses to trim or shut operations.

India’s Reserve Bank of India recently said that it expects a recession in the current financial year as economists forecast growth will turn negative in the April-to-June quarter, given the impact of the pandemic.

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