The country's investment climate during April-December period of this fiscal looks subdued with declining figures in announcements of new projects and the number of projects under execution.
According to data by the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE), the value of investment in new projects during April-December was Rs 4.43 trillion, less than half of Rs 9.21 trillion in the comparable period of last fiscal. Moreover, the value of projects completed at Rs 2.83 trillion was down by 35.3 per cent from Rs 4.38 trillion in the year ago period.
The valuation of dropped projects in the period under review was 23 per cent higher at Rs 10.17 trillion compared with Rs 8.29 trillion.
Credit growth in manufacturing sector was subdued till December. "The other sectors which could be linked with investment performed better like services and mortgages (within retail loans). There is however, no clear indication of such lending going for investment purposes", a report by CARE Ratings stated.
The picture till December 2017 does not indicate any significant pick up in the investment rate in the economy. Central Statistical Organisation's (CSO) estimate of declining capital formation is expected to remain for some time.
As per the estimates by CARE Ratings, lower level of investment intents as well announcement of new projects implies that India Inc is yet to consider capital expansion plans this year. The trend could be reversed only after a couple of quarters.
Gross fixed capital formation as percentage of GDP for the economy has been coming down over the years and as per CSO's first advance estimate for FY18 is expected to decline further to 26.4 per cent.
In FY16, it was 29.3 per cent. The ratio was as high as 34.3 per cent in
FY12. Quite clearly the level of investment has been moving down due to a combination of low capacity utilization rates and demand conditions. Besides private sector investment in infrastructure has lagged with the banking system also being under pressure in financing Capex projects of companies.
The private sector and households capital formation accounts for nearly 75 per cent of the Gross fixed capital formation of the country.
Production of capital goods presented a slightly different picture during April-December. Overall production has increased by 3.8 per cent compared to 3.4 per cent last year. However, segments which account for nearly 50 per cent of the capital goods (based on weight) have witnessed contraction in growth during 2017-18.