Demonetisation Current Affairs

IMF lowers India’s growth forecast to 6.7 %

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) in its October World Economic Outlook (WEO) has lowered India’s economic growth forecast at 6.7% in 2017 and 7.4% in 2018.

It is slower than 0.5 and 0.3 percentage points projected earlier by IMF. In April 2017 forecast, IMF had revised upwards India’s growth performance for 2016 to 7.1% as opposed to 6.8%

Key facts

The report has cited impact of demonetisation and implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST) for expected slowdown during the current and the next year. It also held that India’s slowdown is happening even as the world economy is picking up steam. But it expects revival of growth in future due to structural reform.

India will regain fastest growing major economy tag next year when it is forecast to grow 7.4%, slower than earlier estimate of 7.7% but higher than China’s 6.5%. It also expects that the Indian economy to grow 8% in the medium term on the back of reforms undertaken so far.

Comment

IMF forecast is latest in series of downgrades in India’s growth prospects unveiled by other multilateral agencies such as World Bank, Asian Development Bank (ADB) and OECD.  Earlier, RBI had lowered its growth forecast for 2017-18 to 6.7% from 7.3%.

World Economic Outlook (WEO)

The WEO is survey conducted and published by IMF. It is published biannually and partly updated two times a year. It portrays the world economy in the near and medium context, with growth projections for up to four years into the future. WEO forecasts include key macroeconomic indicators, such as GDP, inflation, fiscal balance and current account of more than 180 countries around the globe. It also deals with major economic policy issues.

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BMI Research: India to have a GDP Growth of 6.9% in this Fiscal 

According to BMI Research, a Fitch group company, India is expected to register a growth of 6.9% in this financial year.

BMI Research was founded in 1984 by Business Monitor International and later in 2014, it was acquired by Fitch Group. The firm performs industry and financial market analysis in 24 industries and 200 global markets.

Salient Facts

The report has observed that the Real GDP growth has slowed to 6.1 % year-on-year in the fourth quarter of 2016-17. The growth rate is expected to pick up following the demonetisation drive in November 2016 but the weak public banks are expected to cap the economic recovery. The Public-Sector Banks are still plagued with mounting non-performing assets, which is expected to take a toll on India’s growth potential. Though the RBI has taken efforts to clean up the NPAs, the study observes that it will take some more time for credit allocation to the productive sectors of the economy.

The report, however, expects the economy to continue to recover in the coming quarters as the negative ramifications of the demonetisation measure have already started wearing off. India is also expected to get benefits from positive demographic trends, greater external stability arising out of improved terms of trade from low oil prices, and continued reforms improving the business environment of the country.

Asia 

The report expects a slowdown in economic growth in North Asia in 2017 and 2018. The slowdown will be driven by the structural slowdown in China, poor policy initiatives in Japan, and policy uncertainty in South Korea.

In Asia, India and ASEAN are likely to remain as the bright spots in the region owing to their positive demographics and improvements in the business environments.

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