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Rising inflation may impede pace of recovery: OECD

Last Updated: Friday, November 20, 2009 - 00:02

New Delhi: With inflationary pressures building up at the initial stages of recovery in the domestic economy, choosing the right time for withdrawal of the fiscal and monetary stimulus remains a major challenge for the policymakers, the OECD said on Thursday.

Projecting a 7.3 percent growth in 2010 and 7.6 percent in 2011, inflation is expected to remain high, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), a body of the developed nations, said in its India economic outlook report.
"Given the resurgence of inflationary pressures so early in the recovery, a key challenge facing the policymakers is ensuring a timely withdrawal of fiscal and monetary policy stimulus," it said.

The report projects the wholesale price inflation at 3.5 percent in 2009, and sharply higher at 7 percent next year and a tad lower at 6.2 percent the year after.

However, retail inflation, which pinches consumers the most is pegged at 7.8 percent in 2009, a bit lower at 7.1 percent next year and still down at 6.2 percent in 2011. It indicates that the economic momentum is strengthening and the deficient monsoon this year would have only a moderate impact on the recovery, said the report.

"In the near-term, the ongoing recovery will be only modestly hampered by the poor monsoons," it said.

Tackling high fiscal deficit that followed the stimulus packages would be a onerous task, said the report, adding, "reining in the large fiscal deficit, which has widened further in 2009, will be particularly difficult given both its magnitude and the permanent nature of recent increases in spending."
In its fiscal stimulus packages, the government has cut excise duty by 6 percent and service tax by 2 percent, besides increasing plan expenditure to perk up the economy.

The Reserve Bank has also cut policy rates and other tools to reduce interest rates and increase money supply.

Expecting monetary tightening, the OECD projects long-term interest rates to rise to 7.8 percent next year and further to 8.1 percent in 2011, from 7.1 percent in 2009.

Inflation for October stood at 1.34 percent from a month earlier on costlier minerals and fuels, while food inflation is nearing a high 15 percent.

The RBI has projected inflation at 6.5 percent by 2009-10 end.

Bureau Report

First Published: Friday, November 20, 2009 - 00:02

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