Moody’s frowns on budget data
Moody’s Investors Service on Tuesday said economic growth projections made by finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her budget for 2020-21 appear ambitious given the structural and cyclical challenges facing the Indian economy.
The budget expects nominal GDP growth of 10 per cent in 2020-21, followed by 12.6 per cent and 12.8 per cent in
2021-22 and 2022-23, respectively. But, Moody’s saw GDP growth rising to around 8.7 per cent in the next financial year beginning April 1 from about 7.5 per cent in the current fiscal.
Stating that the growth outlook will remain weak, it has put real GDP growth during the current fiscal at 4.9 per cent, slightly below the government’s forecast of 5 per cent. For the next fiscal, it estimated real GDP growth of 5.5 per cent, lower than 6-6.5 per cent projected by the government’s Economic Survey.
“Growth has remained relatively weak as a prolonged deleveraging cycle and ongoing stress among non-banking financial institutions, which has constrained the financial system’s overall provision of credit, weigh on consumption and investment,” Moody’s said.
For the next fiscal, it lowered real GDP growth forecasts to 5.5 per cent from 6.3 per cent in the previous estimate. And for the following fiscal, it put the real GDP growth at 6 per cent from 6.7 per cent projected earlier.
“The significant slowdown in financial sector credit growth from NBFI liquidity constraints and asset quality issues among public sector banks has exacerbated prolonged weakness in private investment and a material decline in consumption, due in part to financial stress among rural households and weak job creation,” Moody’s said.
The nominal GDP growth, it said, has also declined. Following 11.2 per cent expansion in 2018-19, the government had forecast 12 per cent nominal GDP growth in its July 2019 budget for the current fiscal.
However, according to the government’s first advance estimate of GDP last month, nominal GDP growth is likely to fall to a much lower rate of around 7.5 per cent for the whole of 2019-20.