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DAILY NEWS ANALYSIS

  • 22 September, 2021

  • 5 Min Read

ADB cuts India’s GDP growth forecast in 2021-22 to 10%

  • The Asian Development Bank has cut its forecast for India’s GDP growth in 2021-22 to 10%, from 11% projected earlier, with downside risks dominating the economic outlook. The ADB also sees rising input costs fuelling inflation to a faster 5.5% pace, than the 5.2% previously estimated.
  • While the COVID-19 second wave had disrupted the recovery since the ADB’s April forecast for 11% growth, the Bank expects the economy to ‘rebound strongly in the remaining three quarters and grow by 10% in the full fiscal year before moderating to 7.5%’ in 2022-23.
  • Still, the risks to the outlook tilt to the downside and depend mainly on the evolution of the pandemic, the ADB’s director of macroeconomic research Abdul Abiad told The Hindu.
  • “The primary risks are centred around the pandemic,” said Dr. Abiad. “Until we get to the point that we have really widespread vaccination, countries still are at risk of renewed outbreaks as the Delta variant is much more infectious. So the main risk weighing on the outlook is if vaccination hasn’t progressed widely, the health system gets strained and the government needs to put restrictions on mobility again,” he explained.
  • That the second wave accelerated very rapidly but also declined very rapidly, allowing the economy to reopen was another key factor behind ADB’s assessment, and was backed by the Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) readings that had ‘switched to highly positive for India’, he pointed out.
  • “Because consumption will recover only gradually, government spending and exports will contribute more to this year’s growth than they did in the previous fiscal year,” the ADB said in an update to its Asian Development Outlook for 2021, emphasising that the healthy trend in export orders suggested that ‘strong external demand’ had helped cushion the impact of the second wave on the economy.
  • Blaming the uptick in India’s inflation on rising global oil prices and higher duties on gasoline and diesel fuel, along with double-digit consumer price inflation for pulses and vegetable oil, the ADB said a deficient monsoon could augur further inflationary pressure.
  • “Rising prices for oil and other commodities will further increase input and transportation costs for producers, which they will pass on to consumers. These push factors and the second-round effects of persistently high headline inflation from last year will keep core inflation elevated,” it warned.

Source: PIB


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