Past year also, there was a normal monsoon forecast by the IMD.
Rainfall is likely to be normal during the June-to-September south-west monsoon season, the government's weather office said on Monday.
The monsoon is considered normal if the average rainfall is between 96 to 104 per cent of long period average.
A normal monsoon will not only aid agriculture growth but could have a positive impact on the overall rural economy. The first stage forecast is issued in April and the second stage forecast is issued in June.
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The IMD, however, will forecast the onset of monsoon in middle of next month.
"India will receive normal monsoon this year". The IMD categorises rainfall in the 96 per cent to 104 per cent LPA range as normal while the rain immediately below that, it is considered below normal.
A good monsoon is good news for the Indian economy. Last year, rainfall was close to normal at 95% of the LPA, while in 2016 rains were recorded at 97% of LPA.
The IMD, which released its initial forecast for the four-month monsoon season, also said preliminary indications showed this year's rains would evenly distributed. If the average rainfall is below 90 per cent of LPA, the Monsoon is termed "deficient". India had faced deficient rains during monsoon season in 2015 and 2014, making both these years drought years.
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