New Delhi: India’s GDP growth is expected to accelerate moderately to 7.5 per cent in Fiscal Year 19-20, driven by continued investment strengthening, particularly private-improved export performance and resilient consumption, the World Bank has said. Also Read - Rahul Gandhi's 'Bangladesh Set To Overtake' Remark: Government Hits Back at Congress Leader
The real GDP growth is estimated at 7.2 per cent in FY18/19, the World Bank said in its latest report on South Asia on Sunday ahead of the spring meeting of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. Also Read - Pandemic Effect: India's Economy to Contract by 9.6% in 2020-21, Estimates World Bank
Data for the first three quarters suggest that growth has been broad-based. Industrial growth accelerated to 7.9 per cent, making up for a deceleration in services. Also Read - 'Bang Thaalis & Shout Grow GDP, Grow': Facebook Event Taking a Dig at India's Falling GDP Goes Viral!
Meanwhile, agriculture growth was robust at four per cent.
On the demand side, domestic consumption remained the primary growth driver, but gross fixed capital formation and exports both made growing contributions. Over the last quarter, growth is expected to remain balanced across sectors, the report said.
Inflation dynamics have been subdued over most of the FY18/19, the report said.
The World Bank said India’s GDP growth is expected to accelerate moderately to 7.5 per cent in FY19/20, driven by continued investment strengthening-particularly private- improved export performance, and resilient consumption.
With robust growth, and food prices poised to recover, inflation is expected to converge toward four per cent, it said, adding that both the current account and the fiscal deficit are expected to narrow.
“On the external front, improvements in India’s export performance and low oil prices should bring about a reduction in the current account deficit to 1.9 per cent of GDP,” it said.
“On the internal front, the consolidated fiscal deficit is projected to decline, albeit slowly (to 6.2 and 6.0 per cent of GDP in FY19/20 and FY20/21 respectively). As the centre’s deficit is budgeted to remain unchanged at 3.4 per cent of GDP in FY19/20, the burden of adjustment will rest on the states,” the World Bank said.
A sustained decline in food prices since July 2018, subsequently complemented by the softening of oil prices and concomitant appreciation of the rupee, has led to a steady decline in inflation, it noted.
Observing that headline inflation stood at 2.6 per cent in February 2019, and the average for FY18/19 so far at 3.5 per cent, well below the RBI’s target-midpoint of four per cent, the report said that as a result, the RBI reduced the policy rate by 25 basis points (to 6.25 per cent) in February 2019.
However, the report said that the current account deficit widened in FY18-19.
India’s external position worsened significantly in the first half of FY18-19, as large portfolio outflows were triggered by US monetary policy and fears of contagion from stress in some emerging market economies. The nominal exchange rate depreciated, and foreign reserves declined by over eight per cent over January to October 2018.
However, since then, the decline in oil prices and the United States Fed signalling a slower pace of normalisation than initially anticipated led to a partial reversal.
Portfolio outflows have reversed, and the rupee has appreciated by about four per cent vis-a-vis the USD since October 2018.