India Responsible for Slashed Global Growth Estimate: IMF Chief

As the International Monetary Fund (IMF) cut down global growth forecasts owing to the economic slowdown in India and other emerging markets, the chief economist of IMF, Gita Gopinath said that India was primarily responsible for the downgrade in global growth.

Speaking about the lowered world growth estimates, Gopinath said, “We have projected global growth at 2.9 per cent for 2019 and 3.3 per cent for 2020 which is 0.1 percentage point lower than the October estimates. The vast majority of it comes from our downgrade for India which was quite significant for both years.”

When asked the extent to which the economic slowdown in India had impacted global forecasts, Gita Gopinath said, “Simple calculation says it would be over 80 per cent.”

The IMF on Monday also lowered India’s economic growth estimate for the current fiscal to 4.8 per cent. Gopinath, when spoke about the slashed projections said, “The first two-quarters of India came in weaker than we projected. One sector where we are seeing the most stress is the financial sector — the non-bank financial corporations. We have seen a sharp decline in credit growth and a weakened business sentiment. All this led to the revised numbers.”

However, India’s growth (estimated at 4.8 per cent in 2019) is projected to improve to 5.8 per cent in 2020 and 6.5 per cent in 2021.

Gita Gopinath, while talking about the road to recovery for India’s economy said, “We see India recovering. There is a significant recovery coming in the next fiscal year. There is a fair amount of monetary stimulus in the system, corporate tax cuts are also there — these should help with recovery in growth.”

According to Gopinath, the biggest task before the government is to restimulate growth without furthering the non-performing assets (NPAs) problem.

However, she added that India also needs strong governance reforms.

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