April 4, 2018 / 3:54 AM / 10 months ago

India's monsoon rains seen at average levels in 2018: Skymet

FILE PHOTO: A woman stands on a seaside promenade against the background of pre-monsoon clouds gathered over the Arabian Sea in Kochi, India, May 15, 2017. REUTERS/Sivaram V

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Monsoon rains in India are expected to be average in 2018, the country’s only private weather forecasting agency said on Wednesday, raising prospects of higher farm and economic growth in the $2 trillion economy, Asia’s third-biggest.

Monsoon rains are expected to be 100 percent of the long-term average, Skymet said in a Tweet.

India defines average, or normal, rainfall as between 96 percent and 104 percent of a 50-year average of 89 cm for the entire four-month season beginning June.

The state-run India Meteorological Department will come out with its monsoon forecast in mid-April.

Reporting by Mayank Bhardwaj; Editing by Sunil Nair

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