Moody's Ups India's 2023 GDP Forecast To 6.7% From 5.5%: Report

Moody's has raised India's 2023 GDP growth forecast to 6.7% from 5.5%. It has, however, lowered its 2024 growth forecast to 6.1% from 6.5%
Moody's Ups India's 2023 GDP Forecast To 6.7% From 5.5%: Report

Global rating agency Moody's Investor Service on Friday scaled up India's economic growth forecast to 6.7 percent in 2023 from 5.5 percent pegged earlier. However, it cut India's 2024 GDP forecast to 6.1 percent from 6.5 percent earlier, primarily due to the high base created by the outperformance in the second quarter.

"Strong services expansion and capital expenditures propelled India's 7.8 percent real GDP Growth in the second quarter from a year ago. We have accordingly raised our 2023 calendar year growth forecast for India from 5.5 percent to 6.7 percent," the agency said in a note.

According to a report by CNBC-TV18, on lowering the 2024 growth forecast, Moody's said, "Since the second quarter outperformance creates a high base in 2023, we have lowered our 2024 growth forecast from 6.5 percent to 6.1 percent.”

Moody’s expects India’s monsoon, which runs from June to October, to see below-average rainfall, resulting in higher food prices. "So far, as of August 29, the India Meteorological Department has estimated a 9 percent rain deficiency across the country. If El Niño this year proves to be particularly strong in the second half of 2023 and early 2024, agricultural commodity prices could shoot up,” the agency said.

The Reserve Bank of India’s monetary policy committee has left the repo rate unchanged for a third time in August. The recent uptick in food price inflation and uncertain El Niño-related weather conditions will delay monetary policy easing consideration to early next year, Moody's noted.

Given the robust underlying economic momentum, the agency also recognises further upside risk to India’s economic growth performance.

The agency further said that domestic demand in India remains buoyant, and as long as core inflation remains relatively stable, rate hikes are also unlikely.

Meanwhile, India's GDP for April-June quarter of the current financial year accelerated to 7.8 percent, according to data released by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation on August 31.

While the number is lower than the 13.5 percent GDP growth in the first quarter of the previous financial year, India’s economy has been growing at a steady pace and is likely to improve further during the upcoming festive season. 

Though several economists have expressed concern over the overall impact of inflation and erratic weather on economic growth, India’s manufacturing, services and export sectors have witnessed strong growth, in addition to robust tax collection.

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, in a recent interview, said that India's economic growth will be robust at least till the end of 2023.

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