S&P Global Ratings on Tuesday raised India’s growth projection to (-) 7.7 per cent for the current fiscal from (-) 9 per cent predicted earlier on rising demand and falling COVID infection rates. The rating agency said its revision in growth forecast reflects a faster-than-expected recovery in the quarter through September. For the next fiscal, it projected India’s growth to rebound to 10 per cent.
“Rising demand and falling infection rates have tempered our expectation of COVID’s hit on the Indian economy. S&P Global Ratings has revised real GDP growth to negative 7.7 per cent for the year ending March 2021, from negative 9 per cent previously,” S&P said in a statement.
The US-based rating agency said that India is learning to live with the virus, even though the pandemic is far from defeated and reported cases have fallen by more than half from peak levels, to about 40,000 per day. The feared resurgence following the recent holiday season has yet to materialise.
India’s gross domestic product fell 7.5 per cent in the July-September quarter, against a contraction of 23.9 per cent in the April-June quarter. The improved results were primarily due to significant rebound in the major industries like manufacturing, construction and others.
“It is no surprise that India is following the path of most economies across Asia-Pacific in experiencing a faster-than-expected recovery in manufacturing production,” S&P Global Ratings Asia-Pacific chief economist Shaun Roache said.
Manufacturing output was about 3.5 per cent higher in October 2020, compared to the year-ago period, while the output of consumer durables rose by almost 18 per cent.
“This recovery underscores one of the more striking aspects of the COVID-19 shock — the resilience of manufacturing supply chains. Again, as with demand, some slowing of output momentum has emerged more recently,” S&P said.
Earlier this week, Fitch had revised its growth forecast for India to (-) 9.4 per cent, from (-) 10.5 per cent on signs of economic revival.
Similarly, Moody’s upgraded its forecast to (-)10.6 per cent from its previous expectations of (-)11.5 per cent.