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ADB slashes India growth forecast for 2017-18 to 6.7%

Thursday, December 14, 2017

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) yesterday lowered India's economic growth forecast for the current fiscal to 6.7% from 7%, citing lingering effect of demonetisation, transitory challenges to GST and weather-related risks to agriculture.

For 2018-19, India's GDP is projected to grow by 7.3%, slower than ADB's previous estimate of 7.4%.

The downgrade in projection comes weeks after Indian economy reversed a five-quarter slide in GDP growth to clock a 6.3% expansion in July-September.

In its Asian Development Outlook Supplement, ADB said growth is expected to pick up in the remaining two quarters of the fiscal ending March 31, 2018, as "the government implements measures to ease firms' compliance with the new goods and services tax (GST)".

Growth would also be supported by government efforts to improve balancesheets of state-owned banks, in part through an augmented bank-recapitalisation programme — and a supportive global environment.

"However, owing to tepid growth in the first half of 2017-18, the lingering effects of demonetisation in November 2016, transitory challenges of a new tax system, and some risks to agriculture stemming from a spotty monsoon in 2017", the economic growth forecast has been lowered, it said.

For the next fiscal, the projections have been revised down "mainly because a faster recovery in crude oil prices likely in 2018 will add fiscal pressure, and because private investment growth is expected to remain soft", it said.


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