International Monetary Fund (IMF) has lowered India’s growth forecast for the just-concluded fiscal and the next two years, citing softer recent growth and weaker global outlook, but expects the country to retain its place as the fastest growing major economy.
According to IMF estimates, India’s economy grew 7.1% in FY19 and is expected to accelerate to 7.3% growth this fiscal and to 7.5% in FY21. All the estimates are 0.2 percentage points less than its previous assessment in January.
The IMF numbers are higher than those of the Reserve Bank of India, which had last week cut its growth forecast to 7.2% for this fiscal and 7.4% for FY21.
According to India’s official estimates, Indian economy grew 7% in FY19, slowest in the last five years. IMF expects growth to recover in the current fiscal and the next.
“In India, growth is projected to pick up to 7.3% in 2019 and 7.5% in 2020, supported by the continued recovery of investment and robust consumption amid a more expansionary stance of monetary policy and some expected impetus from fiscal policy,” the report said.
Over the medium term, the multilateral institution expects growth to stabilise at just under 7.75%, based on continued implementation of structural reforms and easing of infrastructure bottlenecks.
It expects inflation to remain below the Reserve Bank of India’s threshold of 4% in the current fiscal at 3.9% and marginally exceed at 4.2% next year. Current account deficit is seen at around 2.5% of GDP.
Global growth is forecast to slow to 3.3% in 2019 from 3.6% in 2018 with a downside risk due to trade tensions and chaotic Brexit.