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Indian govt. lowers GDP forecast

NEW DELHI, July 21 (UPI) -- The Indian government, battling inflation, lowered its annual economic growth forecast to about 8.6 percent from about 9 percent earlier.

The Finance Ministry also predicted inflation would remain in the 6 percent to 7 percent range until end of this fiscal year in March, the Times of India reported, quoting a ministry note. Inflation currently is running about 9 percent.

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India's central bank has been raising interest rates to fight inflation but that has affected growth.

"Overall, growth is estimated to be marginally higher at 8.6 percent this year over 2010-11 levels of 8.5 percent," the ministry note said.

The ministry, however, cautioned against any generalization the economy may be entering a slowdown phase.

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