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Taking stock of our GDP forecasts

Much of the coverage of this week's Q2 GDP release highlighted the record y/y growth rate, but that was due to the slump last year rather than recent economic strength. We estimate that GDP dropped by 12% q/q in seasonally-adjusted terms. That large fall in GDP means there is more scope for the economy to have rebounded sharply in Q3. But taken as a whole, we've revised down our annual growth forecast for 2021 to 8%.
Shilan Shah Senior India Economist
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India Economics Update

A small helping hand for households

Measures unveiled by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman over the weekend including a cut to excise duties on petrol and ramping up of fertiliser subsidies should offer a small reprieve to households dealing with the sharp rise in fuel and food prices. But the measures won’t be enough to prevent further rises in inflation over the coming months, and will come at the cost of a slightly wider fiscal deficit this year. Asia Drop-In (26th May, 0900 BST/16:00 SGT): Can Asia remain the low inflation exception? Join our 20-minute briefing about the region’s price and policy outlooks. Register here.

23 May 2022

India Economics Weekly

Heatwave damage, MPC minutes, WPI surge

The government’s decision to restrict exports of wheat following heavy damage to crops from the heatwave will have limited impact on the trade balance and inflation. The bigger worry is that the extreme heat will do broader damage to other rabi (winter) crop. Meanwhile, the minutes of the RBI’s unscheduled meeting this month show that several MPC members are keen on frontloading rate hikes to rein in inflation expectations. That supports our view that the repo rate will be hiked by 50bp in the next meeting in June.
Asia Drop-In (26th May, 0900 BST/16:00 SGT): Can Asia remain the low inflation exception? Join our 20-minute briefing about the region’s price and policy outlooks. Register here.

20 May 2022

India Economics Weekly

G-SAP redux?

The recent jump in bond yields is reportedly causing consternation among policymakers. The big worry is the impact that higher bond yields would have on the trajectory of India’s public debt. This sets the stage for more financial repression policies and a potential return of the RBI’s so-called “G-SAP” – the programme introduced last year in which it made regular purchases of government bonds on the secondary market.
EM Drop-In (17th May): Do current EM debt strains point to a repeat of the kinds of crises seen in the 1980s and 1990s? Join our special briefing on EM sovereign debt risk on Tuesday. Register now.

13 May 2022

More from Shilan Shah

India Data Response

GDP (Q2)

The record y/y rise in Indian GDP in Q2 (Q1 of FY21/22) was due entirely to base effects. We estimate that the economy shrank by 12% in q/q terms as India struggled with its Delta outbreak. Timely activity data point to a sharp rebound more recently as containment measures have been scaled back, but the risk of further outbreaks clouds the outlook.

31 August 2021

India Economics Update

Policy to stay loose despite first signs of MPC dissent

The minutes of the Reserve Bank’s August policy meeting show the first signs of dissent as MPC member Jayanth Varma argued that a hike in the reverse repo rate and a change in policy stance would be prudent to show that the committee remains committed to reining in inflation. But most members – including Governor Shaktikanta Das – appear more concerned about the downside risks to the economic recovery. That supports our view that policy will remain loose for a long while yet.

23 August 2021

India Economics Weekly

The broad contours of policy normalisation

We’ve argued for some time that the RBI is in no rush to join several of its emerging market peers in tightening monetary policy, a view that has been reinforced by the dovish commentary in the latest RBI bulletin released this week. The bulletin also hints that, whenever it does begin, policy normalisation will be very gradual. We think it will start with the slow removal of liquidity support before rates are increased.

20 August 2021
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