Ind-Ra pegs Indian economic growth at 7.2% in 2018-19

Ind-Ra expects CAD to widen to $ 71.1 billion in 2018-19 from $ 48.7 billion in 2017-18

Indian economy is projected to grow at 7.2 % in 2018-19, India Ratings and Research (Ind-Ra) on Thursday said.

The rating agency earlier forecasted India's economic growth at 7.4 % in current fiscal.

The key reason for this, Ind-Ra said, is the upward revision in the estimation of inflation for 2018-19 due to increasing crude oil prices and the government's decision to fix the minimum support prices of all kharif crops at 1.5 times the production cost (A2+FL).

The rating agency in a report titled 'Mid-year FY19 Outlook' said it believes the other headwinds lurking on the horizon are rising trade protectionism, depreciating rupee and, no visible signs of the abatement of the non-performing assets of the banking sector.

"Furthermore, it is taking a tad longer than expected to resolve cases under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code.

"This simply means 'bringing the stuck capital back into the production process to enhance the productivity of capital' will be a long drawn-out affair," Ind-Ra said.

Ind-Ra said it expects private final consumption expenditure to grow 7.6 % in 2018-19 compared to 6.6 % in 2017-18.

The rating agency pointed out that government capex alone will be insufficient to revive the capex cycle, as its share in the total capex of the economy was only 11.1 % during 2012-17.

"On the other hand, the share of private corporations was 40.9 %. As private corporations in combination with the household sector command 77.5 % of the total investment in the economy, their capex revival is a must for a broad-based recovery in the investment cycle," it observed.

Noting that India will face continued headwinds on the exports front, the rating agency said although it expects the annual value of exports to touch $ 345 billion in the current fiscal, crossing the peak of $ 318 billion attained in 2013-14.

Ind-Ra said it expects average retail and wholesale inflation in 2018-19 to come in at 4.6 % and 4.1 %, respectively, as against 4.3 % and 3.4 % forecasted earlier.

"Ind-Ra expects CAD to widen to $ 71.1 billion in 2018-19 from $ 48.7 billion in 2017-18," it said.

On rupee, the rating agency said that in 2018, rupee has already depreciated 7.7 % till July in response to elevated global turbulence, worsening of current account, rising inflation and concerns related to fiscal deficit.

Ind-Ra said it has maintained a stable outlook on the finances of Indian states for 2018-19.

"Ind-Ra expects the aggregate fiscal deficit of the states to moderate to 2.8 % of GDP," Ind-Ra said.

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Ind-Ra pegs Indian economic growth at 7.2% in 2018-19

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