STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE
Mumbai, 2 September
Having opted to review their earlier projections about India’s yearly GDP growth forecasts for financial year 2013-14 in the aftermath of disappointing and below-expectation 4.4 per cent growth in the first quarter of this fiscal, several global credit rating agencies and brokerages on Monday came out with a slew of negative prognoses.
They also warned that “fiscal slippages” may aggravate in the coming quarters if the government fails to take urgent measures to cover BOP (balance of payment) adequately and keep fiscal deficit under control.
JP Morgan was first to slash its earlier forecast of 5.1 per cent GDP growth for financial year 2013-14 to 4.1 per cent, which analysts say, by global standards is too drastic.
The global brokerage’s latest reading of Indian economy corroborates rising fear and anxiety over “deteriorating economic situation which justifies the widespread pessimism generated by the fall in the rupee and unstable equities.”
Its report said: “GDP growth momentum slowed sharply in Q1 and things are likely to get worse. Government spending, which maintained a blistering pace, will probably be forced to slowdown in the current quarter."
Last week, the Central Statistical Office announced GDP growth number for the first quarter of the current fiscal at 4.4 per cent. Services growth during the quarter stood at 6.1 per cent, while industrial activity contracted by 0.8 per cent. Agriculture and allied sectors grew by 2.7 per cent during the quarter under review.
Irrespective of bountiful monsoon, JP Morgan fears slowdown of growth momentum on account of fiscal slippage in the second quarter. It said: “A weak growth trend lasting for four-five quarters would increase the risk of a vicious cycle building whereby the economy becomes vulnerable and the risk of GDP growth sliding to 3.5 to 4 per cent increases.”
Global investment bank Nomura also cut its GDP growth projection for fiscal 2013-14 to 4.2 per cent from 5 per cent.
HSBC, in its report, said: “India’s growth is likely to continue to slow in near term due to tighter financial condition and higher macro-economic uncertainties."
HSBC lowered its GDP forecast to 4 per cent from 5.5 per cent. “In our baseline scenario, we expect BOP (balance of payment) pressure to continue over the next 3-6 months, which would have adverse impact on the economy through multiple channels ~ cost pushing inflation and margin pressures, higher short-term funding costs, asset price volatility and falling confidence among others.”