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Growth, CAD worries persist despite easing inflation: Barclays

Last Updated: Friday, March 22, 2013 - 16:40

Mumbai: While risks arising from high inflation and fiscal slippage have receded, concerns about growth and current account deficit have worsened, which may pull down GDP growth to about 6.2 percent next fiscal, says a Barclays report.

The report also said the effort to reduce fiscal deficit through austerity measures is weighing on growth.

"Worries about inflation and fiscal slippage have receded, but concerns about growth and the current account deficit (CAD) have worsened," the report said, adding the widening CAD has emerged as a key near-term risk.

Accordingly, growth will also come down as, "even with the benefit of a favourable base and some improvement in industrial activity, growth is likely to improve only slowly in the coming quarters. We recently lowered our FY13 GDP growth forecast to 5.2 percent from 5.6 percent estimated earlier, and the FY14 forecast to 6.2 percent from 6.6," the report said.

Referring to the expenditure cut impacting the growth prospects of the economy, the report said as expenditure control remains the key for containing fiscal deficit in the absence of rise in revenues, recovery in growth is likely to be slow.

"Expenditure control will continue to be the key to deficit reduction in the near-term, as potential upside to government revenues remains limited. Accordingly, while the Budget arithmetic seems broadly credible, the government's expenditure cut is raising the risks to growth," the report said.

The government plans to reduce the fiscal deficit from 5.2 percent in the current financial year to 4.8 percent next fiscal.

The report also pointed out that despite government initiatives and likely monetary easing in the coming months, a turnaround in the capital expenditure cycle is likely to be only gradual as it will depend on government actions with regard to giving speedy approvals to various projects.


First Published: Friday, March 22, 2013 - 16:29
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