India’s Growth Slowed Down But Still the Fastest Growing Economy at 7.3 %: IMF

India’s Growth Slowed Down But Still the Fastest Growing Economy at 7.3 %: IMF

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) cut India’s growth projections for this fiscal year to 7.3 percent and for the next to 7.5 percent, although the country will still retain its top spot in the global growth league. The World Economic Outlook (WEO) Update reduced by 0.1 percent the projections made in April for this year and by 0.3 percent for 2019, citing the impact of higher oil prices and the likelihood of monetary policy tightening.

Maury Obstfeld, IMF`s director of the Research Department, said that the rise in oil prices due to supply disruptions and geopolitical tensions have harmed importers like India.

Releasing the Update at the IMF headquarters in Washington, he said: “We continue to project global growth rates of just about 3.9 percent for both this year and next, but judge that the risk of worse outcomes has increased, even for the near term.”

The report said that for such a scenario the “possible triggers include rising trade tensions and conflicts, geopolitical concerns, and mounting political uncertainty.”

Citing the tariff increases by the US and retaliation by other countries, it said they “could derail the recovery and depress medium-term growth prospects”.

The Update kept the growth projections for China unchanged at 6.6 percent for this year and 6.4 for 2019, and for the US at 2.9 percent for 2018 and 2.7 percent next year.

Obstfeld said: “The dollar has already appreciated broadly since April, and financial conditions facing emerging and frontier economies have become somewhat more restrictive.”

The Update said the dollar has appreciated by 5 percent since February.

As for reducing the projections for India, it said they reflect the “negative effects of higher oil prices on domestic demand and faster-than-anticipated monetary policy tightening due to higher expected inflation”.

The latest projections are still markedly higher than the growth rate of 6.7 percent in 2017 and the report said it was because “drags from the currency exchange initiative and the introduction of the goods and services tax fade.”

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