In good news for the country’s agriculture sector and economy, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has forecast a normal Monsoon this year. IMD Director General KJ Ramesh said the Monsoon rains were expected to be normal during the June-September period. ‘Monsoon 2018 is likely to remain normal at 97 per cent (with an error margin of +/-5 per cent) of the long period average (LPA) for the four-month period from June to September,’ Ramesh told a press conference said. The top IMD official said there was ‘very less probability’ of a deficient Monsoon this year, and added that the date of onset of Monsoon will be declared in the middle of the month of May. The IMD considers the Monsoon to be normal if the average rainfall is between 96 to 104 per cent of long period average. If the average rainfall is below 90 per cent of LPA, the Monsoon is termed 'deficient'. Anything between 90-96 per cent of the LPA is considered 'below normal'.