Fitch Ratings says India’s GDP to expand by 11% in 2021-22 after falling by 9.4% in current FY21 fiscal.
It added that India’s medium-term growth to slow to around 6.5 per cent after the initial rebound.
India’s coronavirus-induced recession has been among the most severe in the world, amid a stringent lockdown and limited direct fiscal support. The economy is now in a recovery phase that will be further supported by the rollout of vaccines in the next months and we expect GDP to expand by 11.0% in FY22 after falling by 9.4% in FY21.
However, we expect the medium-term recovery to be slow. Supply-side potential growth will be reduced by a slowdown in the rate of capital accumulation – investment has recently fallen sharply and is likely to see only a subdued recovery. This will weigh on labour productivity and our projection of supply-side potential GDP growth for the six-year period FY21 to FY26 has been lowered to 5.1% p.a. compared to our pre-pandemic projection of 7% p.a.
Our historical analysis of India’s growth performance highlights the key role played by a high investment rate in driving growth in labour productivity and GDP per capita over the last fifteen years.
But investment has fallen sharply over the last year and the need to repair corporate balance sheets and firm closures will weigh on the pace of recovery.
Constrained credit supply amid a fragile financial system is another headwind for investment. The banking sector entered the crisis with generally weak asset quality and limited capital buffers. Appetite for lending will be subdued, particularly as credit-guarantee and forbearance measures rolled out in the crisis start to be unwound.
The economy should be able to grow somewhat faster than estimated supply-side potential over the medium term following the unprecedented downturn in FY21. But our projection for the medium-term recovery path – at around 6.5% p.a. over FY23 to FY26 – would leave GDP well below its pre-pandemic trend.
The research report, “India Set for Slow Medium-Term Recovery” is available at the above link and at www.fitchratings.com.