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OECD: India’s economy to grow 7.5% by 2020 amid slowing global growth
India's economic growth will regain strength and approach 7.5% by 2020 buoyed by rural consumption and subdued inflation, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) said in its Economic Outlook on Tuesday.
“Gross domestic product (GDP) growth in India is projected to strengthen to close to 7.25% in FY19 and close to 7.5% in FY20,” the intergovernmental agency said.
This growth will come from higher domestic demand due to improved financial conditions, fiscal and quasi-fiscal stimulus, including new income support measures for rural farmers, and recent structural reforms. Lower oil prices and the recent appreciation of the rupee will reduce pressures on inflation and the current account.
Highlighting that India has the fastest growth among G20 economies with export growth holding up well, it said: “Investment growth will accelerate as capacity utilisation rises, interest rates decline, and geopolitical tensions and political uncertainty are assumed to wane”.
India’s economy grew at a six-quarter low of 6.6% in the October-December period. The statistics office will release of the quarterly GDP estimate for January-March and provisional annual estimates for 2018-19 on May 31. GDP growth for FY19 is seen at 7%.
India’s healthy growth forecast came amidst the OECD cutting the projection for global GDP growth from 3.5% in 2018 to a sub-par rate of 3.2% this year, before edging up to 3.4% in 2020.
“Global growth has slowed abruptly over the past year, with the weakness seen in the latter half of 2018 continuing in the early part of 2019 amidst persisting trade tensions,” the organisation said, urging governments to resolve their trade disputes.
The organisation expects India’s monetary policy to be loosened somewhat as headline inflation remains well below target and inflation expectations are adjusting down.
India’s retail inflation was 2.92% in April due to a spike in food prices. The Reserve Bank of India, which had last month cut interest rates by 0.25%, estimates 2.9-3% retail inflation during April to September because of lower food and fuel prices and expectation of a normal monsoon
“Rising public sector borrowing requirements reflect the implementation of new welfare schemes, sluggish tax revenue, and growing financial needs of public enterprises and banks,” the OECD said.
The report suggested that an improved collection of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and wider base of personal income tax will help reduce the high public debt-to-GDP ratio.
Besides, ensuring a swift resolution of bankruptcy processes would help contain non-performing loans and boost productivity by promoting the reallocation of resources to more productive firms and sectors.
Investment has continued to grow robustly, supported by hefty public sector projects. In contrast, private investment, in particular in manufacturing, has been affected by uncertainty ahead of the parliamentary elections, combined with persistent difficulties in financing projects, acquiring land and getting all the necessary clearances. Rural consumption, two-wheeler and tractor sales have slowed, driven by subdued agricultural prices and wages.