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India's growth to accelerate to 7.5% in FY17 and 7.7% in FY18: Moody's

Moody's expect RBI to hold policy 'repo' rate steady to have a neutral stance in this growth

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Moody's says India less exposed to external factors, pegs GDP growth at 7.5% in 2016

India's economic growth will accelerate to 7.5 per cent in current financial year and the government's reform push will help achieve 8 per cent GDP growth rate in about four years, Moody's said today.

In itsGlobal Macro Outlook, Moody's Investors Service said the ruling BJP's victory in Uttar Pradesh state electionsindicates that the government has remained politically popular despite the demonetisation exercise.

"We expect marginally faster growth in India. According to our forecast the economy will grow 7.5 per cent in financial year 2017 (2017-18) and 7.7 per cent in financial year 2018 (2018-19)," it said.

Indian economy grew 7.1 per cent in 2016-17 financial year.

Moody's, however, cautioned thatpersistent banking sector weakness from a high proportion of delinquent loans on bank balance sheets will weigh on growth, if not resolved, by constraining credit for investment related activity.

Overall, we continue to believe that economic growth will gradually accelerate to around 8 per cent over the next three to four years, Moody's said, adding that thenegative impact of demonetisation on the economy was limited in size and duration.

The World Bank has earlier this week projected India to clock a 7.2 per cent growth rate in the current financial on reform momentum and improved investment scenario.

The government has been successful in pushing through several key reforms, including liberalisation of FDI rules in a number of key sectors such as defence, railway infrastructure, civil aviation and insurance.

Besides, Direct Benefit Transfer schemefor food, fertiliser and kerosene subsidies, July rollout of the goods and service tax, and a national bankruptcy code are among other reforms undertaken by the government.

"Together, these will help reduce inefficiencies and improve trend growth over the long run," Moody's said.

The inflation rate has steadily declined to 3 per cent as of April, due to weaker food price inflation.

"We believe that the inflation rate will rise to around 5 per cent by the end of this year, once the effect of this temporary factor fades," it said.

Moody's expect the Reserve Bank of India to hold the policy 'repo' rate steady, holding a neutral stance in this growth environment.

"Private sector investment has remained weak despite progress on reforms, suggesting that some hurdles to investment remain binding in many cases," Moody's noted.

As regards China, Moody's said its GDP growth will decelerate over the year due to reduced property-related investment as liquidity-tightening measures of the central bank and regulatory measures intended to limit the growth rate of shadow banking take effect.

"We expect that real GDP will grow at 6.6 per cent in 2017, in line with the target of 'at least 6.5 per cent and higher if possible,' falling to 6.3 per cent in 2018," it said.

First Published: Wed, May 31 2017. 11:30 IST