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India Economy Profile 2019

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Economy - overview

India's diverse economy encompasses traditional village farming, modern agriculture, handicrafts, a wide range of modern industries, and a multitude of services. Slightly less than half of the workforce is in agriculture, but services are the major source of economic growth, accounting for nearly two-thirds of India's output but employing 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, business outsourcing services, and software workers. Nevertheless, per capita income remains below the world average. India is developing into an open-market economy, yet traces of its past autarkic policies remain. Economic liberalization measures, including industrial deregulation, privatization of state-owned enterprises, and reduced controls on foreign trade and investment, began in the early 1990s and served to accelerate the country's growth, which averaged nearly 7% per year from 1997 to 2017.

India's economic growth slowed in 2011 because of a decline in investment caused by high interest rates, rising inflation, and investor pessimism about the government's commitment to further economic reforms and about slow world growth. Investors’ perceptions of India improved in early 2014, due to a reduction of the current account deficit and expectations of post-election economic reform, resulting in a surge of inbound capital flows and stabilization of the rupee. Growth rebounded in 2014 through 2016. Despite a high growth rate compared to the rest of the world, India’s government-owned banks faced mounting bad debt, resulting in low credit growth. Rising macroeconomic imbalances in India and improving economic conditions in Western countries led investors to shift capital away from India, prompting a sharp depreciation of the rupee through 2016.

The economy slowed again in 2017, due to shocks of "demonetizaton" in 2016 and introduction of GST in 2017. Since the election, the government has passed an important goods and services tax bill and raised foreign direct investment caps in some sectors, but most economic reforms have focused on administrative and governance changes, largely because the ruling party remains a minority in India’s upper house of Parliament, which must approve most bills.

India has a young population and corresponding low dependency ratio, healthy savings and investment rates, and is increasing integration into the global economy. However, long-term challenges remain significant, including: India's discrimination against women and girls, an inefficient power generation and distribution system, ineffective enforcement of intellectual property rights, decades-long civil litigation dockets, inadequate transport and agricultural infrastructure, limited non-agricultural employment opportunities, high spending and poorly targeted subsidies, inadequate availability of quality basic and higher education, and accommodating rural-to-urban migration.

GDP (purchasing power parity)
$9.474 trillion (2017 est.)
$8.88 trillion (2016 est.)
$8.291 trillion (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

GDP (official exchange rate)
$2.602 trillion (2017 est.)
GDP - real growth rate
6.7% (2017 est.)
7.1% (2016 est.)
8.2% (2015 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)
$7,200 (2017 est.)
$6,800 (2016 est.)
$6,500 (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

Gross national saving
28.8% of GDP (2017 est.)
29.7% of GDP (2016 est.)
30.7% of GDP (2015 est.)
GDP - composition, by end use
household consumption: 59.1% (2017 est.)
government consumption: 11.5% (2017 est.)
investment in fixed capital: 28.5% (2017 est.)
investment in inventories: 3.9% (2017 est.)
exports of goods and services: 19.1% (2017 est.)
imports of goods and services: -22% (2017 est.)
GDP - composition by sector
agriculture: 15.4% (2016 est.)
industry: 23% (2016 est.)
services: 61.5% (2016 est.)
Population below poverty line
21.9% (2011 est.)
Labor force
521.9 million (2017 est.)
Labor force - by occupation
agriculture: 47%
industry: 22%
services: 31% (FY 2014 est.)
Unemployment rate
8.5% (2017 est.)
8.5% (2016 est.)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24
total: 10.1%
male: 9.5%
female: 12% (2012 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share
lowest 10%: 3.6%
highest 10%: 29.8% (2011)
Distribution of family income - Gini index
35.2 (2011)
37.8 (1997)
Budget
revenues: 238.2 billion (2017 est.)
expenditures: 329 billion (2017 est.)
Taxes and other revenues
9.2% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)
-3.5% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
Public debt
71.2% of GDP (2017 est.)
69.5% of GDP (2016 est.)

note: data cover central government debt, and exclude debt instruments issued (or owned) by government entities other than the treasury; the data include treasury debt held by foreign entities; the data exclude debt issued by subnational entities, as well as intragovernmental debt; intragovernmental debt consists of treasury borrowings from surpluses in the social funds, such as for retirement, medical care, and unemployment; debt instruments for the social funds are not sold at public auctions

Inflation rate (consumer prices)
3.6% (2017 est.)
4.5% (2016 est.)
Central bank discount rate
6% (31 December 2017)
6.25% (31 December 2016)

note: this is the Indian central bank's policy rate - the repurchase rate

Commercial bank prime lending rate
9.51% (31 December 2017 est.)
9.67% (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of narrow money
$451.5 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$293.5 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of broad money
$451.5 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$293.5 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of domestic credit
$1.927 trillion (31 December 2017 est.)
$1.684 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares
$1.516 trillion (31 December 2015 est.)
$1.558 trillion (31 December 2014 est.)
$1.139 trillion (31 December 2013 est.)
Agriculture - products
rice, wheat, oilseed, cotton, jute, tea, sugarcane, lentils, onions, potatoes; dairy products, sheep, goats, poultry; fish
Industries
textiles, chemicals, food processing, steel, transportation equipment, cement, mining, petroleum, machinery, software, pharmaceuticals
Industrial production growth rate
5.5% (2017 est.)
Current Account Balance
-$48.66 billion (2017 est.)
-$14.35 billion (2016 est.)
Exports
$304.1 billion (2017 est.)
$268.6 billion (2016 est.)
Exports - commodities
petroleum products, precious stones, vehicles, machinery, iron and steel, chemicals, pharmaceutical products, cereals, apparel
Exports - partners
US 15.6%, UAE 10.2%, Hong Kong 4.9%, China 4.3% (2017)
Imports
$452.2 billion (2017 est.)
$376.1 billion (2016 est.)
Imports - commodities
crude oil, precious stones, machinery, chemicals, fertilizer, plastics, iron and steel
Imports - partners
China 16.3%, US 5.5%, UAE 5.2%, Saudi Arabia 4.8%, Switzerland 4.7% (2017)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold
$409.8 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$359.7 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Debt - external
$501.6 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$456.4 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home
$377.5 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$318.5 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad
$155.2 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$144.1 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Exchange rates
Indian rupees (INR) per US dollar -
65.17 (2017 est.)
67.195 (2016 est.)
67.195 (2015 est.)
64.152 (2014 est.)
61.03 (2013 est.)
Fiscal year
1 April - 31 March

Source: CIA World Factbook
This page was last updated on December 7, 2019

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