IMF Cuts India GDP Growth Forecast To 7.3% For 2019
The abandoned Matrishri Usha Jayaswal Thermal Power Plant, controlled by Asset Reconstruction Co. of India Ltd. and formerly owned by Abhijeet Group subsidiary Corporate Power Ltd., stands in Bana village in the district of Latehar, Jharkhand, India. (Photographer: Prashanth Vishwanathan/Bloomberg)

IMF Cuts India GDP Growth Forecast To 7.3% For 2019


India is projected to grow at 7.3 percent in 2019 and 7.5 percent in 2020, supported by the continued recovery of investment and robust consumption, thus remaining the fastest growing major economy of the world, according to the International Monetary Fund.

In 2018, India's growth rate was 7.1 percent, as against China's 6.6 percent. In 2019, the IMF projected a growth rate of 6.3 percent for China and 6.1 percent in 2020, according to the latest World Economic Outlook projections released ahead of the annual spring meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

"In India, growth is projected to pick up to 7.3 percent in 2019 and 7.5 percent 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.

"Nevertheless, reflecting the recent revision to the national account statistics that indicated somewhat softer underlying momentum, growth forecast have been revised downward compared with the October 2018 World Economic Outlook by 0.1 percentage point for 2019 and 0.2 percentage point for 2020, respectively," it said.

Growth in India, the report said, is expected to stabilise at just under 7 percent over the medium term, based on continued implementation of structural reforms and easing of infrastructure bottlenecks.

The WEO believes that in India, continued implementation of structural and financial sector reforms with efforts to reduce public debt remain essential to secure the economy's growth prospects.

"In the near term, continued fiscal consolidation is needed to bring down India's elevated public debt. This should be supported by strengthening goods and services tax compliance and further reducing subsidies, it said.

Important steps have been taken to strengthen financial sector balance sheets, including through accelerated resolution of non-performing assets under a simplified bankruptcy framework, it noted.

Also read: Growth Outlooks for India and Southeast Asia Cut by Asian Development Bank

"These efforts should be reinforced by enhancing governance of public sector banks. Reforms to hiring and dismissal regulations would help incentivise job creation and absorb the country's large demographic dividend; efforts should also be enhanced on land reform to facilitate and expedite infrastructure development, the report said.

On the other hand, economic growth in China, despite fiscal stimulus and no further increase in tariffs from the US relative to those in force as of September 2018, is projected to slow on an annualised basis in 2019 and 2020.

This reflects weaker underlying growth in 2018, especially in the second half, and the impact of lingering trade tensions with the U.S., the IMF said.

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