A worker sharpens a pair of scissors on a grinding machine in a workshop in Jaipur, Rajasthan, India (Photographer: Udit Kulshrestha/Bloomberg)  

Fitch Cuts India Growth Forecast To 6.6% For FY20 

Fitch Ratings Inc. lowered India’s growth forecast to 6.6 percent for the current fiscal from 6.8 percent projected earlier, as manufacturing and agriculture sectors showed signs of slowing down over the past year.

In its latest Global Economic Outlook, the rating agency retained its GDP growth forecast for 2020-21 at 7.1 percent and 7 percent for 2021-22.

In the last fiscal, Indian economy grew at a five-year low pace of 6.8 percent.

“We see growth for 2019-20 printing at 6.6 percent, before stepping up to 7.1 percent in 2020-21 and 7.0 percent in 2021-22,” Fitch said.

India’s GDP growth declined for the fourth consecutive quarter in January-March, with the economy expanding by 5.8 percent, down from a cyclical high of 8.1 percent in the March quarter of 2018.

“This is the lowest growth out-turn in five years. The slowdown over the past year has been driven by steadily cooling activity in the manufacturing sector and, to a lesser extent, agriculture. Weaker momentum has been mainly domestically driven, though export growth has also faltered more recently,” Fitch said.

It said the Reserve Bank of India has cut interest rates by 0.25 percent in its June meeting —the third cut so far this year—in the face of weak growth momentum and contained inflation.

“We expect another 25 basis point cut later in 2019, which will push the policy repo rate down to 5.50 percent. Monetary and regulatory easing from the RBI, along with a recovery in portfolio inflows, should support a recovery in credit to the private sector and reverse the drag from the negative credit impulse,” Fitch added.

Also read: RBI Will Not Hesitate To Take Steps To Maintain Financial Stability: Shaktikanta Das

Bloomberg Quint

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