Moody’s cuts India growth projection to 5.4% for 2020

Moody's said India's economy has decelerated rapidly over the last two years

India, economic growth, Moody's Investors Service, growth forecast, 5.4 per cent, 6.6 per cent, GDP, economic slowdown
The IMF in its report said that revisions to the forecast are particularly large for India, where the GDP contracted much more severely than expected in the second quarter. Representational image: iStock

Moody’s Investors Service on Monday (February 17) slashed India’s growth forecast to 5.4 per cent for 2020 from 6.6 per cent projected earlier on slower than expected economic recovery.

In its update on Global Macro Outlook, Moody’s said India’s economy has decelerated rapidly over the last two years and expects economic recovery to begin in the current quarter. “We expect any recovery to be slower than we had previously expected. Accordingly, we have revised our growth forecasts to 5.4 per cent for 2020 and 5.8 per cent for 2021, down from our previous projections of 6.6 per cent and 6.7 per cent, respectively,” Moody’s said.

The growth projections are based on calendar year and as per its estimates, India has clocked a GDP growth of 5 per cent in 2019.

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With a weak economy and depressed credit growth reinforcing each other, Moody’s said it is difficult to envision a quick turnaround of either, even if economic deceleration may have troughed.

On the fiscal front, it said, the Union Budget 2020 did not contain a significant stimulus to address the demand slump. As similar policies in other countries have shown, tax cuts are unlikely to translate into higher consumer and business spending when risk aversion is high, it said.

Moody’s said it expects additional easing by the RBI. However, if the recent rise in CPI inflation, mainly as a result of higher food prices, is seen to have second-round effects, this would make it more challenging for the central bank to cut interest rates further, it added.

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With regard to global growth, Moody’s said the coronavirus outbreak has diminished optimism about prospects of an incipient stabilization of global growth this year.

Global GDP growth forecast has been revised down, and Moody’s now expect G-20 economies to collectively grow 2.4 per cent in 2020, a softer rate than last year, followed by a pickup to 2.8 per cent in 2021.

“We have reduced our growth forecast for China to 5.2 per cent in 2020 and maintain our expectation of 5.7 per cent growth in 2021,” it added.

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