Growth Forecast Current Affairs
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Asian Development Bank (ADB) in its Outlook Supplement has retained India’s growth forecast at 7.3% for current fiscal (2018-19) and 7.6% in following financial year (2019-20). It held that India is maintaining growth momentum on rebounding exports and higher industrial and agricultural output.
India saw GDP growth moderate to 7.1% in Q2 of FY2018 (ending March 31, 2019) from 8.2%in Q1. The slowdown came mainly from food prices, rising oil prices delivering negative shock in terms of trade, lower rural consumption, and rising costs for raw materials. But growth forecasts of 7.3% for 2018-19 and 7.6% for 2019-20 are retained from update despite some downside risks.
Asian Development Bank (ADB)
ADB is a regional development bank based out of Asia. It aims to promote social and economic development in Asia by achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. It was established in December 1966. It is headquartered at Ortigas Centre in Manila, Philippines. It has total 67 members, of which 48 are from within Asia and the Pacific and 19 outside.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) in its report has projected India’s GDP growth 7.3% in the 2018-19 fiscal and 7.5% in 2019-2020 on strengthening of investment and robust private consumption. India’s near-term macroeconomic outlook for India is broadly favourable.
Key Highlights of IMF Report
Headline inflation: It is projected to rise to 5.2% in fiscal year 2018/19, as demand conditions tighten, along with recent depreciation of rupee and higher oil prices, housing rent allowances and agricultural minimum support prices. But it has averaged 3.6% in fiscal year 2017/18 which 17-year low, reflecting low food prices on return to normal monsoon rainfall, agriculture sector reforms, subdued domestic demand and currency appreciation.
Current account deficit (CAD): It is projected to widen further to 2.6% of GDP on rising oil prices and strong demand for imports. CAD will be offset by slight increase in remittances
Financial sector reforms: They have been undertaken to address twin balance sheet problems, as well as to revive bank credit and enhance efficiency of credit provision by accelerating cleanup of bank and corporate balance sheets. India’s stability-oriented macro-economic policies and progress on structural reforms are continuing to bear fruit.
Way Forward: Continued fiscal consolidation is needed for India to lower elevated public debt levels, supported by simplifying and streamlining GST structure. Further, while important steps have been taken to improve recognition of Non-Performing Assets (NPAs) and recapitalise Public Sector Banks (PSBs), more needs to be done. Persistently-high household inflation expectations and large general government fiscal deficits and debt are still key macroeconomic challenges.
PSB Reforms: Large fraud in PSBs highlights financial sector weaknesses and underscores need for government to take further steps to improve PSBs’ governance and operations, including by considering more aggressive disinvestment.
Economic risks: Domestic economic risks are tilted to downside and external side risks include further increase in international oil prices, tighter global financial conditions, retreat from cross-border integration including spillover risks from global trade conflict and rising regional geopolitical tensions. Domestic risks pertain to tax revenue shortfalls related to continued GST implementation issues and delays in addressing twin balance sheet problems and other structural reforms.