Sat, 30 Sep 2023

New Delhi [India], January 31 (ANI): India is expected to witness GDP growth of 6.0 per cent to 6.8 per cent in 2023-24, depending on the trajectory of economic and political developments globally.

The Economic Survey 2022-23 projects a baseline GDP growth of 6.5 per cent in real terms in the next financial year. The projection is broadly comparable to the estimates provided by multilateral agencies such as the World Bank, the IMF, and the ADB and by RBI domestically.

The economy is expected to grow at 7 per cent in real terms for the year ending March 2023. This follows an 8.7 per cent growth in the previous financial year.

The optimistic growth forecasts stem from a number of positives like the rebound of private consumption given a boost to production activity, higher Capital Expenditure (Capex), near-universal vaccination coverage enabling people to spend on contact-based services, such as restaurants, hotels, shopping malls, and cinemas, as well as the return of migrant workers to cities to work in construction sites leading to a significant decline in housing market inventory, the survey said.

It said the positives also include strengthening of the balance sheets of the corporates, a well-capitalised public sector banks ready to increase the credit supply and the credit growth to the Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSME) sector.

Economic Survey was tabled by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in Parliament on Tuesday.

The Survey said Indian economy is staging a broad based recovery across sectors, positioning to ascend to pre-pandemic growth path in FY23. Retail inflation is back within RBI's target range in November 2022. Direct Tax collections for the period April-November 2022 remains buoyant. Enhanced Employment generation has been seen in the declining urban unemployment rate and in the faster net registration in Employee Provident Fund.

It said National Green Hydrogen Mission will enable India to be energy independent by 2047. Private investment in agriculture increased to 9.3 per cent in 2020-21.

The focus of government reforms includes creating public goods to enhance opportunities, efficiencies and ease of living, trust-based governance, enhancing agricultural productivity and promoting the private sector as a co-partner in development.

The Survey said cleaner balance sheets led to enhanced lending by financial institutions, there is growth in credit offtake, increased private capex will usher virtuous investment cycle and non-food credit offtake by scheduled commercial Banks has been growing in double digits since April 2022.

India's e-commerce market is projected to grow at 18 per cent annually through 2025. Merchandise exports were US$ 332.8 billion for April-December 2022.

India is the largest recipient of remittances globally receiving US$ 100 billion in 2022It said growth is expected to be brisk in FY24 as a vigorous credit disbursal, and capital investment cycle is expected to unfold in India with the strengthening of the balance sheets of the corporate and banking sectors.

Further support to economic growth will come from the expansion of public digital platforms and path-breaking measures such as PM GatiShakti, the National Logistics Policy, and the Production-Linked Incentive schemes to boost manufacturing output.

Despite the three shocks of COVID-19, Russian-Ukraine conflict and the Central Banks across economies led by Federal Reserve responding with synchronised policy rate hikes to curb inflation, leading to appreciation of US Dollar and the widening of the Current Account Deficits (CAD) in net importing economies, agencies worldwide continue to project India as the fastest-growing major economy at 6.5-7.0 per cent in FY23.

According to Survey, India's economic growth in FY23 has been principally led by private consumption and capital formation and they have helped generate employment as seen in the declining urban unemployment rate and in the faster net registration in Employee Provident Fund. World's second-largest vaccination drive involving more than 2 billion doses also served to lift consumer sentiments that may prolong the rebound in consumption. Still, private capex soon needs to take up the leadership role to put job creation on a fast track, the survey said.

It also points out that the upside to India's growth outlook arises from - limited health and economic fallout for the rest of the world from the current surge in Covid-19 infections in China and, therefore, continued normalisation of supply chains.

The upside to India's growth outlook also arises from inflationary impulses from the reopening of China's economy turning out to be neither significant nor persistent; recessionary tendencies in major Advanced Economies (AEs) triggering a cessation of monetary tightening and a return of capital flows to India amidst a stable domestic inflation rate below 6 per cent.The survey says this is leading to an improvement in animal spirits and providing further impetus to private sector investment.

The Survey said the credit growth to the Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSME) sector has been remarkably high, over 30.6 per cent, on average during Jan-Nov 2022, supported by the extended Emergency Credit Linked Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS) of the Union government. It adds that the recovery of MSMEs is proceeding apace, as is evident in the amounts of Goods and Services Tax (GST) they pay, while the Emergency Credit Linked Guarantee Scheme (ECGLS) is easing their debt servicing concerns.

Dwelling on halt in construction activities during the pandemic, the Survey underscores that vaccinations have facilitated the return of migrant workers to cities to work in construction sites as the rebound in consumption spilled over into the housing market. This is evident in the housing market witnessing a significant decline in inventory overhang to 33 months in Q3 of FY23 from 42 months last year.

It also said that the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) has been directly providing jobs in rural areas and indirectly creating opportunities for rural households to diversify their sources of income generation.

The Survey noted with optimism that Indian economy appears to have moved on after its encounter with the pandemic, staging a full recovery in FY22 ahead of many nations and positioning itself to ascend to the pre-pandemic growth path in FY23. Yet in the current year, India has also faced the challenge of reining in inflation that the European strife accentuated. Measures taken by the government and RBI, along with the easing of global commodity prices, have finally managed to bring retail inflation below the RBI upper tolerance target in November 2022.

The Survey cautioned that the challenge of the depreciating rupee, although better performing than most other currencies, persists with the likelihood of further increases in policy rates by the US Fed. The widening of the CAD may also continue as global commodity prices remain elevated and the growth momentum of the Indian economy remains strong. The loss of export stimulus is further possible as the slowing world growth and trade shrinks the global market size in the second half of the current year.

The global growth has been projected to decline in 2023 and is expected to remain generally subdued in the following years as well.

The Survey points out that factors like monetary tightening by the RBI, the widening of the CAD, and the plateauing growth of exports have essentially been the outcome of geopolitical strife in Europe. As these developments posed downside risks to the growth of the Indian economy in FY23, many agencies worldwide have been revising their growth forecast of the Indian economy downwards. These forecasts, including the advance estimates released by the NSO, now broadly lie in the range of 6.5-7.0 per cent.

Despite the downward revision, the growth estimate for FY23 is higher than for almost all major economies and even slightly above the average growth of the Indian economy in the decade leading up to the pandemic.

IMF estimates India to be one of the top two fast-growing significant economies in 2022. Despite strong global headwinds and tighter domestic monetary policy, if India is still expected to grow between 6.5 and 7.0 per cent, and that too without the advantage of a base effect, it is a reflection of India's underlying economic resilience, the Survey said.

The Survey said the finances of the public sector banks have seen a significant turnaround, with profits being booked at regular intervals and their Non-Performing Assets (NPAs) being fast-tracked for quicker resolution/liquidation by the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI).

It said RBI has projected headline inflation at 6.8 per cent in FY23, which is outside its target range. At the same time, it is not high enough to deter private consumption and also not so low as to weaken the inducement to invest.

It also said that the global commodity prices may have eased but are still higher compared to pre-conflict levels and they have further widened the Current Account Deficit, already enlarged by India's growth momentum. For FY23, India has sufficient forex reserves to finance the CAD and intervene in the forex market to manage volatility in the Indian rupee.

Dwelling on the Outlook for 2023-24, the Survey said India's recovery from the pandemic was relatively quick, and growth in the upcoming year will be supported by solid domestic demand and a pickup in capital investment.

Global growth is forecasted to slow from 3.2 per cent in 2022 to 2.7 per cent in 2023 as per IMF's World Economic Outlook, October 2022. A slower growth in economic output coupled with increased uncertainty will dampen trade growth. This is seen in the lower forecast for growth in global trade by the World Trade Organisation, from 3.5 per cent in 2022 to 1.0 per cent in 2023.

On the external front, risks to the current account balance stem from multiple sources.

The Survey underlined that inflation and monetary tightening led to a hardening of bond yields across economies and resulted in an outflow of equity capital from most of the economies around the world into the traditionally safe-haven market of the US.


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