Indian economy to grow at 6.4% in 2013: United Nations

Indian economy to grow at 6.4% in 2013: United Nations New Delhi: Indian economy is likely to grow at 6.4 percent rate in 2013, outpacing the 6 percent expansion in developing Asia-Pacific economies in the same period, a United Nations report said Thursday.

"India is expected to recover from its relatively low 5 percent growth in 2012 to 6.4 percent in 2013...Economic growth in the developing countries of Asia and the Pacific is projected to inch up to 6 percent in 2013," United Nations' Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2013 said.

Unveiling the report here, Prime Minister's Economic Advisory Council (PMEAC) Chairman C Rangarajan said: "India's economic growth in 2013-14 will be better than 2012-13, but will be lower than the pre-crisis level. We need to organise ourselves to go back to pre-crisis level of growth rate."

According to International Monetary Fund (IMF), Indian economy is projected to grow by 5.7 percent in 2013 calendar year. Economic growth in FY'13 is expected to be at decade low of 5 percent due to global slowdown, according to estimates.

In the Budget, Finance Minister P Chidambaram had said the government was targeting a growth of 6.1-6.7 percent for the current fiscal.

From a high over 9 percent GDP growth for many years prior to the 2008 crisis, the economy grew 6.5 percent last year and is projected by analysts to slow down further to a decadal low of 5.5 percent or even lower this fiscal.

Meanwhile, the increase in economic growth of the developing Asia-Pacific nations to 6 percent in 2013 from 5.6 percent in 2012 is partly due to an expected improvement in global demand arising from steady, although sub-par, growth in the United States and a limited rebound in the performance of major emerging economies, the UN report added.

Growth in China is forecast to reach 8 percent in 2013, slightly up from 7.8 percent in 2012. Republic of Korea's economic growth is forecast at 2.3 percent in 2013 against 2 percent in 2012. Economic growth in Singapore is forecast to be 3 percent in 2013 from 1.3 percent in 2012.

In contrast, as a group, growth of Pacific island economies is projected to decelerate in 2013 due a sharp energy sector slowdown in Papua New Guinea, which is by far the largest Pacific island, the report said.

Meanwhile, talking about India's current account deficit (CAD) which has touched a record high of 6.7 percent in the October-December quarter of last fiscal, Rangarajan said," I believe that macroeconomic stability is necessary pre-condition for faster economic growth. Keeping CAD at an appropriate level is extremely important."

Asked impact of falling commodity prices on India's economy, Rangarajan said: "In general, if commodity prices come down then it will be beneficial for countries like India."

Yesterday, gold prices had fallen to its lowest level in 20-month by losing Rs 90 to Rs 26,350 per ten grams. Today, it recovered by Rs 250 in line with a recovery in global prices.

Crude oil (Brent) prices have also fallen below USD 100 a barrel in the global futures market.

PTI