NEW DELHI - India's economy grew at a much faster pace than expected in the July-September quarter, helped by government spending and manufacturing.

Asia's third-largest economy expanded 7.6% in the September quarter, much faster than the 6.8% forecast in a Reuters poll of economists and the Reserve Bank of India's estimate of 6.5%.

The pace of growth was slightly slower than the 7.8% expansion India's economy saw in the previous quarter, helped by the comparison with a lower base the previous year.

The manufacturing sector, which for the past decade has accounted for just 17% of the economy, expanded 13.9% year-on-year in the September quarter, compared with a revised 4.7% in the previous three months.

(Additional reporting by Shivangi Acharya and Sarita Chaganti Singh Editing by Tomasz Janowski and Bernadette Baum)