IMF Downgrades India’s Growth Forecast


Washington: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) expects India to retain its recently acquired status as the world’s fastest growing major economy even as it pared the country’s growth forecast for the current fiscal.

A day after the finance ministry said the economy should do a little better this year with at least 7.5% growth, the IMF pegged its estimate at 7.3%, the same as in the previous year. That’s lower than the 7.5% forecast in the July 2015 World Economic Outlook (WEO) Update.

“Growth will benefit from recent policy reforms, a consequent pickup in investment, and lower commodity prices,” the IMF said, adding that demand in India is projected to remain strong.

Released ahead ofthe Fund’s annual meeting later this week, the latest edition of the multilateral lender’s ‘World Economic Outlook–Adjusting to Lower Commodity Prices’ has maintained FY17 forecast at 7.5%. A day earlier, an IMF blog post had been optimistic about the country’s economic prospects.

“With China gradually transitioning into an environment of lower growth, India could durably occupy the top growth spot among large emerging markets,” it had said.

The IMF’s forecast for 2020 sees India occupying the top slot among major economies with a growth rate of 7.7%.

To be sure, the multilateral lender expects both countries to drive global growth in the years ahead. “The gradual increase in the global weight of fast-growing countries such as China and India… further increases their importance as drivers of global growth.”

Global economic growth is forecast to slow to 3.1% in 2015, down 0.3 percentage point from the July estimate. Despite recent economic turbulence in China and a global focus on its problems, the IMF doesn’t see a drastic deceleration in the country’s growth, estimating it at 6.8% in 2015 and 6.3% in 2016.

source: ET