India's economy to grow 6.5 per cent in 2023-24: Economic survey : The Tribune India

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India's economy to grow 6.5 per cent in 2023-24: Economic survey

The survey said the pace of price increases is not high enough to deter private consumption or low enough to weaken investment



PTI

New Delhi, January 31

India's economy is projected to slow to 6.5 per cent in the fiscal year starting April but will remain the fastest growing major economy in the world as it fared better in dealing with the extraordinary set of challenges the globe has faced, the Economic Survey 2022-23 said on Tuesday.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman speaks in the Lok Sabha on the first day of Budget Session of Parliament, in New Delhi, on Tuesday. PTI Photo

India's gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 6.5 per cent in 2023-24 compares with an estimated 7 per cent expansion in current fiscal year (April 2022 to March 2023) and 8.7 per cent in the previous year.

Like the rest of the world, India too faced an extraordinary set of challenges in tightening financial conditions and supply chain disruptions from a prolonged war in Europe but "withstood them better than most economies", the annual document detailing the state of the economy said.

The survey tabled in Parliament by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, stated that India is the world's third largest economy in PPP (purchasing power parity) terms and fifth largest in terms of exchange rate.

"Economy has nearly recouped what was lost, renewed what had paused, and re-energised what had slowed during the pandemic and since the conflict in Europe," it said.

While it indicated that inflation may not be too worrisome, borrowing costs are likely to remain 'higher for longer' as an entrenched inflation may prolong the tightening cycle.

India's recovery from the pandemic was relatively quick, growth to be supported by solid domestic demand, pick up in capital investment, the Survey said but highlighted the challenge to rupee with the likelihood of further interest rate hikes by the US Fed.

Current account deficit or CAD may continue to widen as global commodity prices remain elevated and because of strong economic growth momentum. If CAD widens further, the rupee may come under depreciation pressure, it said, adding the overall external situation will remain manageable.

On exports, it said the growth moderated in the second half of current fiscal. Slowing world growth, shrinking global trade led to loss of export stimulus in the second half of the current year.

Pegging nominal growth at 11 per cent for 2023-24, the survey said the growth in the financial year beginning April 1 will remain strong relative to most global economies, led by sustained private consumption, a pick-up in lending by banks and improved capital spending by corporations.

The optimistic growth forecasts stem from a number of positives like the rebound of private consumption giving a boost to production activity, higher capital expenditure, and near universal vaccination coverage enabling people to spend on contact-based services such as restaurants, hotels, shopping malls and cinemas.

The return of migrant workers to cities to work on construction sites leading to a significant decline in housing market inventory is also a factor for the optimistic growth projection, it said.

The strengthening of the balance sheets of corporates, well-capitalised public sector banks ready to increase the credit supply and the credit growth to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) sector have also helped.

The survey said the growth is expected to be brisk in FY24 as a vigorous credit disbursal, and capital investment cycle are expected to unfold in India with the strengthening of the balance sheets of the corporate and banking sector.

Further support to the economic growth will come from the expansion of public digital platforms and measures such as PM GatiShakti, the National Logistics Policy and the production-linked incentive schemes to boost manufacturing output.

India's economy has rebounded since the COVID-19 pandemic, but the Russia-Ukraine conflict has triggered inflationary pressures and prompted central banks, including India's, to reverse the ultra-loose monetary policy they adopted during the pandemic.

The survey stated that the inflation projection by RBI at 6.8 per cent for current fiscal (FY23) is above the central bank's tolerance limit but the pace of price increase is not high enough to deter private consumption or low enough to weaken investment.

According to the survey, the pressure on the Indian rupee could continue due to the tightening of monetary policy. CAD may also remain elevated as imports could remain high due to a strong local economy while exports ease due to weakness in the global economy.

India's CAD was 4.4 per cent of GDP in July-September period, higher than 2.2 per cent a quarter ago and 1.3 per cent a year ago, as rising commodity prices and a weak rupee increased the trade gap.

The survey said there has been an improvement in employment conditions in India due to stronger consumption but a pick-up in private investment is essential to creating more jobs.

Survey highlights

  • India's economy to grow 6.5 pc in 2023-24, compared to 7 pc this fiscal and 8.7 pc in 2021-22
  • India to remain the fastest growing major economy in the world
  • GDP in nominal terms to be 11 pc in next fiscal
  • Growth driven by private consumption, higher capex, strengthening corporate balance sheet, credit growth to small businesses and return of migrant workers to cities
  • India third largest economy in PPP (purchasing power parity) terms, fifth largest in terms of exchange rate
  • Economy has nearly "recouped" what was lost, "renewed" what had paused, and "renerengised" what had slowed during the pandemic and since the conflict in Europe
  • Real GDP growth to be in the range of 6-6.8 pc next fiscal depending on global economic, political developments
  • India's recovery from the pandemic was relatively quick, growth next fiscal to be supported by solid domestic demand, pick up in capital investment
  • RBI projection of 6.8 pc inflation this fiscal outside the upper target limit, not high enough to deter private consumption, also not too low to weaken inducement to invest
  • Borrowing cost may remain 'higher for longer', entrenched inflation may prolong tightening cycle
  • Challenge to rupee depreciation persists with the likelihood of further interest rate hikes by the US Fed
  • CAD may continue to widen as global commodity prices remain elevated, economic growth momentum stays strong
  • If CAD widens further, rupee may come under depreciation pressure
  • Overall external situation to remain manageable
  • India has sufficient forex reserves to finance CAD and intervene in forex market to manage rupee volatility
  • Elevated downside risks to global economic outlook as inflation persisting in advanced economies and hints of further rate hikes by central banks
  • Inflation did not "creep too far above" tolerance range compared to several advanced nations
  • The growth in exports has moderated in second half of current fiscal; the surge in growth rate in 2021-22 and first half of current fiscal led to production processes shifting gears from 'mild acceleration' to 'cruise mode'
  • Slowing world growth, shrinking global trade led to loss of export stimulus in the second half of current year
  • Schemes like PM KISAN, PM Garib Kalyan Yojana significantly contributed to lessening impoverishment
  • Credit disbursal, capital investment cycle, expansion of public digital platform and schemes like PLI, National Logitics Policy and PM Gati Shakti to drive economic growth   
  • Bank credit growth likely to be brisk in FY24 on back of benign inflation, moderate credit cost 
  • Credit growth to small businesses remarkably high at over 30.5 pc in January-November, 2022
  • Housing prices firming up after release of pent-up demand, decline in inventories
  • Central govt capex grew 63.4 pc in April-November of current fiscal
  • India's economic resilience has helped it withstand the challenge of mitigating external imbalances caused by the Russia-Ukraine conflict without losing growth momentum
  • Stock market gave positive retruns in calendar year 2022 unfazed by FPI withdrawal
  • India withstood extraordinary set of challenges better than most economies
  • After a dip in FY21, GST paid by small businesses has been rising and now crossed pre-pandemic levels reflecting the effectiveness of targeted government intervention
  • Private consumption, capital formation led economic growth in current fiscal has helped generate employment; urban employment rate declined, while Employee Provident Fund registration rose. 

#nirmala sitharaman


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