Economy - overview: India is developing into an open-market economy, yet traces of its past autarkic policies remain. Economic liberalization, including industrial deregulation, privatization of state-owned enterprises, and reduced controls on foreign trade and investment, began in the early 1990s and has served to accelerate the country's growth, which has averaged more than 7% per year since 1997. India's diverse economy encompasses traditional village farming, modern agriculture, handicrafts, a wide range of modern industries, and a multitude of services. Slightly more than half of the work force is in agriculture, but services are the major source of economic growth, accounting for nearly two-thirds of India's output, with less than one-third of its labor force. India has capitalized on its large educated English-speaking population to become a major exporter of information technology services and software workers. In 2010, the Indian economy rebounded robustly from the global financial crisis - in large part because of strong domestic demand - and growth exceeded 8% year-on-year in real terms. However, India's economic growth began slowing in 2011 because of a tight monetary policy, intended to address persistent inflation, and a decline in investment, caused by investor pessimism about domestic economic reforms and about the global situation. High international crude prices have exacerbated the government's fuel subsidy expenditures, contributing to a higher fiscal deficit and a worsening current account deficit. In late 2012, the Indian Government announced reforms and deficit reduction measures to reverse India's slowdown. The outlook India's medium-term growth is positive due to a young population and corresponding low dependency ratio, healthy savings and investment rates, and increasing integration into the global economy. India has many long-term challenges that it has not yet fully addressed, including poverty, inadequate physical and social infrastructure, limited non-agricultural employment opportunities, inadequate availability of quality basic and higher education, and accommodating rural-to-urban migration.
Definition: This entry briefly describes the type of economy, including the degree of market orientation, the level of economic development, the most important natural resources, and the unique areas of specialization. It also characterizes major economic events and policy changes in the most recent 12 months and may include a statement about one or two key future macroeconomic trends.
Source: CIA World Factbook - Unless otherwise noted, information in this page is accurate as of February 21, 2013
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