The International Monetary Fund on Monday slashed India’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth forecast by 100 basis points (bps) to 6.6% in FY17 and by 40 bps to 7.2% in FY18, citing a consumption slump after the demonetisation of high-value notes.
The downward revision, if it translates into reality, will let China reclaim, albeit temporarily, the fastest growing major economy tag from India. China’s economy is now expected to grow by 6.7% in 2016, 10 bps higher than the fund’s October 2016 forecast. The communist country is expected to clock 6.5% in 2017, 30 bps higher than estimated earlier, again ceding the fastest growing economy status to India.
“In India, the growth forecast for the current and next fiscal year were trimmed by 1 percentage point and 0.4 percentage point, respectively, primarily due to the temporary negative consumption shock induced by cash shortages and payment disruptions associated with the recent currency note withdrawal and exchange initiative,” the IMF said in its latest World Economic Outlook Update.
The revision comes barely four months after it revised upward by 20 bps India’s FY17 GDP growth to 7.6% in October 2016. The IMF’s cut in growth outlook for India is sharper than the recent World Bank’s 60 bps reduction in its India GDP growth outlook to 7% for FY17. In its first advance estimate, India’s Central Statistical Office has projected that the economy will slow to 7.1% in the current financial year from 7.6% in 2015-16. Given the post-demonetisation hit to consumption and investment, many analysts said these might prove to be overestimates.
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Global growth for 2016 is now estimated at 3.1%, in line with the IMF’s October 2016 forecast. Economic activity in both advanced economies as well as emerging market and developing economies is forecast to accelerate in 2017-18, with global growth projected to be 3.4% and 3.6%, respectively, again unchanged from the October forecasts.
Advanced economies are now projected to grow by 1.9% in 2017 and 2% percent in 2018, 0.1 and 0.2 percentage point more than in the October forecast, respectively. As noted, this forecast is particularly uncertain in the light of potential changes in the policy stance of the United States under the incoming Donald Trump administration.