ADB cites high inflation, cuts India’s GDP growth forecast

ADB cites high inflation, cuts India’s GDP growth forecast

India’s economy grew 13.5 per cent year-on-year in the first quarter of 2022-23, reflecting strong growth in services, ADB said in its second supplement to Asian Development Outlook Report 2022 (ADO 2022).

NEW DELHI: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Wednesday slashed India’s GDP growth forecast for FY23 to 7 per cent from the earlier estimate of 7.2 per cent mainly on account of higher inflation and a tight monetary policy.

India’s economy grew 13.5 per cent year-on-year in the first quarter of 2022-23, reflecting strong growth in services, ADB said in its second supplement to Asian Development Outlook Report 2022 (ADO 2022).

“However, GDP growth is revised down from ADO 2022’s forecasts to 7 per cent for FY2022 (ending March 2023) and 7.2 per cent for FY2023 (ending March 2024) as price pressures are expected to adversely impact domestic consumption, and sluggish global demand and elevated oil prices will likely be a drag on net exports,” ADB said.

ADB releases the flagship ADO report in April every year. It had then projected the Indian economy to grow at 7.5 per cent in FY23 and 8 per cent in FY24. In the first supplement to ADO 2022 in July, it however trimmed the growth forecast for FY23 to 7.2 per cent and for FY24 to 7.8 per cent citing higher-than anticipated inflation since April and monetary tightening by RBI due to fallout of the economic impact of the war in Ukraine, among others.

Rising global oil and commodity prices and supply constraints following the Russian invasion of Ukraine have stoked inflation, said the report, adding that domestic factors, such as heatwaves and heavy rainfall, are having a major impact on inflation.

“Inflation has turned out to be more persistent than expected, and led to a sharp tightening in monetary policy,” it said. India’s headline inflation averaged 7.3 per cent in April-June, 2022-23 and continued to breach RBI’s monetary policy target of 2-6 per cent in July and August. It was mainly due to increases in food prices, accounting for nearly 45 per cent of the consumption basket, the report said.

Rising prices of domestically-grown vegetables accounted for 35 per cent of food inflation. However, India’s dependence on food imports has come down over the years to 4.3 per cent of total merchandise imports.

RBI has increased the policy rate by 140 basis points in this fiscal year to contain inflationary expectations.

Last week, Fitch Ratings slashed India’s growth projection to 7 per cent for current fiscal year citing elevated inflationary levels and higher interest rates.

ADB in its latest report has also cut China’s GDP forecast to 3.3 per cent in 2022 from 5 per cent projected earlier. Lockdowns from the zero-COVID strategy, problems in the property sector, and weaker external demand continue weighing on economic activity in China, said the report. “This will be the first year in more than 3 decades that the rest of developing Asia will grow faster than the PRC (People’s Republic of China).”

South Asia, the sub-region India belongs to, is expected to grow at 6.5 per cent in 2022 from 7 per cent projected earlier. For 2023, it has been revised down to 6.5 per cent from 7.4 per cent.

“This reflects modest downward revisions to India’s forecast on higher-than-anticipated inflation and monetary tightening, and Sri Lanka’s sharp contraction caused by its sovereign debt and balance-of-payment crises,” the ADB report said.

Markets fall after 2-day gain; US Fed policy decision eyed

Meanwhile, equity indices ended lower on Wednesday amid mixed global market trends ahead of the keenly awaited US Fed interest rate decision. The 30-share BSE Sensex fell 262.96 points or 0.44 per cent to settle at 59,456.78. During the day, it tanked 444.34 points or 0.74 per cent to 59,275.40.

The NSE Nifty went lower by 97.90 points or 0.55 per cent to end at 17,718.35. Among the 30-share Sensex pack, PowerGrid, IndusInd Bank, UltraTech Cement, NTPC, Larsen & Toubro, HCL Technologies, Dr Reddy’s, TCS and Bharti Airtel were the biggest laggards.

However, Hindustan Unilever, ITC, Bajaj Finance, Tech Mahindra, Reliance Industries, Mahindra & Mahindra and Nestle were the gainers.

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