Moody's cuts India's growth estimate

NEW DELHI, Aug. 10 (UPI) -- Moody's Analytics lowered India's economic growth forecast to 5.5 percent this fiscal year.

Moody's, in revising downward its earlier forecast of more than 6 percent, blamed policymakers as well the uncertain global conditions and deficient monsoon rainfall in India, The Hindu reported. The fiscal year will end next March.


The agency said the country's gross domestic product, or GDP, growth rate is likely to be 5.5 percent this year. Next year's growth forecast was expected to be 6 percent, revised from 6.2 percent.

The Indian economy has been hit by a number of factors, including stubbornly high inflation, weak demand and high interest rates, even as the coalition government faces tough challenges ahead.

A poor monsoon season affects agriculture, rural incomes and food prices, officials say.

"There has been little policy response from either the Reserve Bank of India [the country's central bank] or the government, and with global uncertainty dragging on, we see nothing on the horizon to lift the economy from its funk," Moody's Analytics Senior Economist Glenn Levine was quoted as saying.

Moody's said there is no indication of an upturn until at least the December quarter.


Manish Tewari, spokesman for the Congress Party of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, which leads the coalition, said all steps needed for India to return to a high growth trajectory were being taken, the Times of India reported.

"However, we cannot be oblivious to the fact that a sluggish global economy does impact us too," he said.

Also on Thursday, the Central Statistics Office in its latest numbers said India's industrial output contracted 1.8 percent in June, the third such contraction in four months. In June of last year, the output grew 9.5 percent.

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