Achieving a historic milestone, India’s economy on Tuesday crossed the $4 trillion mark in its gross domestic product (GDP) in nominal terms for the first time ever, several media reports said, citing a purported screenshot of a live GDP tracker of all economies based on the IMF data.
Union minister of state Arjun Ram Meghwal also shared the screen grab, tweeting that this is a significant moment in India’s global presence. However, there was no official announcement from the government till the preliminary reports emerged.
With this development, India’s economy made a significant stride towards its ambitious goal of reaching a $5 trillion economy by 2025. India’s constant efforts in many areas, together with good governance and strategic policies, have also powered this historic jump, highlighting India’s status as one of the world’s fastest-growing major economies.
After the report surfaced in the media circle, BJP leaders, ministers and top industrialists also hailed India for crossing the $4 trillion mark and credited Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership for the achievement.
“India achieves a historic milestone, crossing $4 trillion in GDP, marking a significant moment in our global presence. The transformative leadership of PM Modi has propelled India to unprecedented heights,” Mr Meghwal said in a post on X.
“This is what dynamic, visionary leadership looks like. That’s what our #NewIndia progressing beautifully looks like! Congratulations to my fellow Indians as our nation crosses the $4 trillion GDP milestone! More power to you, more respect to you Hon PM @narendramodi ji,” Maharashtra deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said in his congratulatory message.
Reacting to the reports, Adani Group chief Gautam Adani also said the country will become the third-largest economy in the next two years. “Congratulations, India. Another two years to go before India becomes the 3rd largest nation in terms of global GDP by overtaking Japan at $4.4 trillion and Germany at $4.3 trillion. The Tricolour surge continues! Jai Hind. (sic),” Adani posted on social media platform X.
Economists and analysts also welcomed the reports, saying that India, having achieved a monumental GDP milestone of over $4 trillion, stands tall as a beacon of economic prowess and global influence.
“The nation’s remarkable trajectory of growth and development has not only elevated living standards but has also paved the way for a substantial reduction in poverty,” said Vivek Rathi, national director (research), Knight Frank India.
“The country’s economic narrative is one of resilience and promise. Embracing digital transformation, the country has harnessed the power of technology to drive financial inclusion, provide essential services, demonstrate elevated levels of transparency and governance and champion women’s empowerment,” Mr Rathi added.
Also, there is a “wide consensus” supported by economic forecasts that the real GDP growth in the second quarter is likely to turn out to be better than the Reserve Bank of India’s projection of 6.5 per cent in its November 16 bulletin. Country’s economy expanded 7.8% in the first three months of the financial year. RBI governor Shaktikanta Das recently expressed confidence in the domestic economy.
“Looking at the momentum of economic activity — a few early data points have come in — I expect Q2 GDP numbers, which will come at the end of November in all probability will surprise on the upside,” Das said on October 31.
A screenshot was leaked; but has India crossed the historic mark?
The fact, however, is that even the government estimates that we are well short of that mark, predicting the size of the Indian economy would be about $3.6 trillion by 31 March, 2024, in nominal terms.
Even if we were to become a $4 trillion economy by 31 December, this would require near-10 percent quarterly growth in the two quarters spanning July-December, which is not only higher than what was seen in the first quarter, but also goes against the RBI’s prediction of a slowing economy.
What prompted jubilation over the size of the economy was a screenshot from a YouTube livestream of a ticker apparently showing changes in the sizes of major economies in real time. This ticker suggested that the Indian economy had just crossed the $4 trillion-mark.
Statisticians and government officials have since debunked the claims, saying such an analysis is statistically unsound.
The screenshot of the livestream was posted on X (formerly Twitter) by several Union ministers, including Minister of Jal Shakti Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Minister for Culture, Tourism and Development of Northeast Region G. Kishan Reddy, and Minister of State (independent charge) for Law & Justice, Parliamentary Affairs and Culture Arjun Ram Meghwal.
“What it looks like is that this (YouTube) channel has taken GDP data for one year, say, 2023, and the estimate for 2024 and calculated how much growth has to happen per second to reach that target,” the official explained.
“This has no statistical validity because it’s not as if the economy grows at a constant pace, or that the rupee-dollar exchange rate remains the same.”