"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", said IMD director general K J Ramesh.
A normal monsoon will not only aid agriculture growth but could have a positive impact on the overall rural economy crucial for the ruling BJP government as it faces critical state elections followed by the big National Polls in 2019.
As the extreme sea surface temperature conditions over the Pacific and Indian Oceans particularly ENSO conditions over the Pacific (El Nino or La Nina) are known to have strong influence on the Indian summer monsoon, IMD is carefully monitoring the sea surface conditions over the Pacific and Indian oceans.
This forecast comes with a model error of plus or minus 5%.
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. A normal monsoon is in the range of 96-104 percent of the LPA.
The department, which used a combination of statistical and ocean-atmospheric models, said both showed rainfall this year would be normal.
The onset of the monsoon in June kick-starts planting of rain-fed Kharif crops.
Forecast suggests maximum probability for normal rainfall and a low probability for deficient rainfall during the season.
Anything less than 90 per cent of LPA is termed a "deficient" monsoon, and 90-96 per cent of the same is considered "below normal".
In 2017, the average seasonal rainfall over northwest India was 95 per cent, in central India 106 per cent, in southern peninsula 92 per cent and in northeast India 89 per cent.
In a news that would bring cheer to the Indian economy, the IMD says the country would experience normal monsoon this year.