Analysts believe that while the impact of demonetization has faded away, the implementation of GST will definitely impact the GDP numbers in the coming quarters.
India’s GDP growth continued to disappoint for the second straight quarter, slowing down to a mere 5.7% in Apr-Jun and pitting the country behind China on the list of world’s fastest growing major economies. The 5.7% fiscal first quarter GDP growth, of an economy desperately trying to recover from the shocking impact of demonetisation, was much lower than the 7.9% seen in the same quarter a year ago. It even slowed down from 6.1% in the preceding quarter. India’s Apr-Jun growth rate also fell way behind a Reuters poll of over 40 economists, which had predicted 6.6% expansion. Neighbouring China last reported a 6.9% GDP growth. Here’s how chief economists in the industry reacted-
Anjali Verma, Economist, Phillipcapital India- “The impact of demonetisation has faded, definitely. But the next quarter impact will be of GST (goods and services tax), which will have an adverse impact on growth overall. GST impact is just a one quarter phenomena, or at best one month after that. But then in the medium to long term it’s expected to be a positive. I would expect GDP for the full year will be somewhere closer to 6 percent. We don’t expect any rate cuts from here on. RBI will stay hooked on to inflation.”
Abheek Barua, Chief Economist, HDFC Bank- “GDP numbers are certainly disappointing. The numbers seem to suggest that the slowdown from last quarter has intensified due to the combination of long-term slowdown and temporary shock factors like demonetisation and GST (goods and services tax) destocking. A rate cut from RBI now becomes more and more probable, not immediately, but over the next 6 months. We have to revise our GDP outlook numbers for the full year closer or perhaps lower than 7 percent.”
Indranil Pan, Group Economist, IDFC Bank- “The downside impact from demonetisation is no longer going to be there. Going ahead growth will be driven by GST and the pace of cleaning banks’ balance sheets to improve the credit culture in the economy. In my opinion, the bank balance sheet problem will take a longer time than what others are expecting as it is not only cleaning the bad debt, but also improving capital base following mergers in the sector. There is a need to focus on the quality of growth rather than quantity, and for this we can afford to loosen our fiscal deficit target, spend more on investments rather than depend only on consumption to fuel growth.”