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India's GDP likely to see 7.4% growth in 2018-19: FICCI

Aug '18
The latest Economic Outlook Survey by the Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) forecasts India’s annual median gross domestic product (GDP) growth at 7.4 per cent for 2018-19, with a minimum and maximum range of 7.1 per cent and 7.5 per cent respectively. The projection is in line with the estimates put out by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) this month.

The survey was conducted in July this year covering economists representing industry, banking and financial services sector.

The median growth forecast for agriculture and allied activities has been put at 3.0 per cent for 2018-19, with a minimum and maximum range of 2.4 per cent and 4.3 per cent respectively, according to a FICCI press release.

With favourable monsoons, industry and services sector are expected to grow by 6.9 per cent and 8.3 per cent respectively.

The quarterly median forecasts indicate a GDP growth of 7.1 per cent in the first quarter of 2018-19.

The outlook of the economists on inflation seems benign. The median forecast for wholesale price index (WPI)-based inflation rate for 2018-19 has been put at 4.8 per cent, with a minimum and maximum range of 4.1 per cent and 5.0 per cent respectively.

The consumer price index (CPI) also has a median forecast of 4.8 per cent for 2018-19, with a minimum and maximum range of 3 per cent and 5.5 per cent respectively.

On the external front, concerns remain with median current account deficit forecast pegged at 2.5 per cent of GDP for 2018-19. Merchandise exports are expected to grow by 9.8 per cent, while imports are expected to grow by 14.2 per cent during the year.
A majority of participating economists believe that an extension of the China-US trade war beyond the short term can significantly impact India.

As inflation levels rise in the United States on the back of higher domestic prices of imported goods, it may lead to a further increase in interest rates causing even greater outflow of foreign capital from emerging economies including India.

An increase in tariffs by the United States will also make Indian goods less competitive, and more so if India also plans to increase import tariffs, according to the survey.

The economists unanimously agreed that the Indian rupee will continue to be under pressure in 2018-19. (DS)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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