According to the monsoon-related forecast by the India Meteorological Department (IMD), India can look forward to a "near normal" monsoon this year; with the annual monsoon likely to be 96 percent of the LPA - Long Period Average.
With a 5 per cent model error kept by the weather scientists, the 96 percent outcome still is the weakest in the last six-year period - ever since a rather dry 2004 spell, the following years have had the monsoon surpass 98 percent of the average.
Nonetheless, the predictions are upbeat enough to cheer the farming community - raising hopes for bumper crops - and the market. It is another matter altogether that there have been sizeable variations in IMD's predictions from the real June-September monsoon rains, central to key crops like rice and sugarcane.
In fact, along with the optimistic forecast, the IMD has also tipped off that there exist "equal probabilities" for the development of the La Nina or El Nino systems before May, due to which the predictions may sway towards wetter or drier weather.
However, despite the caution, Rupa Rege Nitsure, chief economist of Bank of Baroda in Mumbai, who said that the IMD predictions are "very encouraging given that agricultural performance above three percent is critical to realize GDP growth between 6 to 6.5 percent."