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India Will Retain Tag of Fastest Growing Economy, Forecasts World Bank

Meanwhile, China is expected to slow down slightly from 6.9 percent in 2017 to 6.5 percent in 2018, 6.3 percent in 2019 and eventually 6.2 percent in 2020, it said.


Updated:June 6, 2018, 6:28 PM IST
India Will Retain Tag of Fastest Growing Economy, Forecasts World Bank
A representative photo. (Courtesy: Moneycontrol.)

Washington: India’s economy will see a robust growth of 7.3 percent this year and 7.5 percent for the next two as “factors holding back growth in India fade”, the World Bank has forecast.

The prediction means India will retain the tag of the fastest growing country among the world’s major emerging economies.

“India’s economy (today) is robust, resilient and has potential to deliver sustained growth,” Ayhan Kose, Director of the Development Prospects Group at the World Bank, told PTI.

Growth in India is projected to advance 7.3 percent in fiscal year (FY) 2018-19 and 7.5 percent in FY 2019-20, reflecting robust private consumption and strengthening investment, the bank said in its June 2018 edition of the Global Economic Prospect report.

The report, released on Tuesday, is the global lender's flagship publication on the state of the world economy.

It said growth in South Asia was projected to strengthen to 6.9 percent in 2018 and to 7.1 percent in 2019, mainly as “factors holding back growth in India fade”.

Previously, international lenders have said demonetisation and the initial hiccups in the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) had impacted India's growth.

Meanwhile, China is expected to slow down slightly from 6.9 percent in 2017 to 6.5 percent in 2018, 6.3 percent in 2019 and eventually 6.2 percent in 2020, it said.

India’s growth potential is about 7 percent, and it is currently growing at a pace above its potential, he said, attributing it to the major economic reforms and fiscal measures undertaken by the government.

“India is doing well. Growth is robust. Investment growth remains high. Consumption remains strong. All in all these numbers are encouraging,” Kose said, referring to the World Bank report on India's growth rate figures.

Seeking an increasing female labour force participation, he said on the productivity side, India had room for improvement in secondary education completion rates.

Noting that there were risks that all emerging market economies were facing because of global economic developments, he said, for instance, the disorderly tightening of global financial conditions could have implications for emerging market economies.

“There are trade tensions out there. These tensions have been escalating in recent weeks. These have implications for growth prospects as well,” he said.

Like other oil importers, India is also facing higher oil prices, he said.

In its latest report, the bank said in India, investment growth had firmed recently as the effects of temporary factors wane.

It said growth in South Asia was projected to accelerate to 6.9 percent in 2018, mainly reflecting strengthening domestic demand in India as temporary policy-driven disruptions fade.

Elsewhere in the region, ongoing recoveries in Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka are expected to be accompanied by moderating activity in Afghanistan, Bhutan and Maldives, the World Bank said.

“Over the medium term, growth is expected to remain strong and reach 7.2 percent by 2020 amid robust domestic demand. Downside risks continue to predominate.

“They include the possibility of fiscal slippages, delays in reforms to resolve financial vulnerabilities and improve the health of regional banking systems, and a faster-than-expected tightening in global financing conditions,” the report said.

Stronger-than-envisioned global growth could result in better regional growth outcomes, it added.

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