Normal rain likely across country: IMD

The vital monsoon rain is expected to be 98% of the long term average, the weather bureau has said, raising hopes of a boost in rural demand and overall growth. The second forecast from the weather office is marginally higher than the April estimate of monsoon rain being 96% of the long period average in the June-September period.

The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Australia's Bureau of Meteorology have ruled out chances of an El Nino.

El Nino is an abnormal warming of the ocean surface in central and eastern equatorial Pacific which alters weather patterns in many parts of the globe. In India, it's usually associated with weak monsoons. The last four El Nino events--in 2015, 2009, 2004 and 2002--had led to poor monsoons and drought.

Rainfall over the country as a whole for the 2017 southwest monsoon season (June to September) is most likely to be normal (96% to 104% of long period average (LPA), according to the IMD.

Region wise, the season rainfall is likely to be 96% of LPA over north-west India, 100% of LPA over central India, 99% of LPA over south peninsula and 96% of LPA over north-east India.

The June-September southwest monsoon rains are the lifeline of the farm sector and a robust monsoon rain triggers rural demand for everything from tractors to television. The Indian economy is estimated to grow by around 7.5% in the current fiscal year, and the farm sector is expected to display robust growth.

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