New Delhi: India’s economic growth is forecast to be 6.5 per cent in fiscal 2024 compared to 7 per cent in the current fiscal, according to the Economic Survey released by the government a day ahead of the Union Budget presentation.
The Economic Survey forecasts a baseline gross domestic product, or GDP, growth of 6.5 per cent in real terms in fiscal 2024. Despite the lower growth forecast for next fiscal compared to the current one, the pace would still make India’s growth the fastest among big economies.
“The projection is broadly comparable to the estimates provided by multilateral agencies such as the World Bank, the IMF, and the ADB and by RBI, domestically. The actual outcome for real GDP growth will probably lie in the range of 6 per cent to 6.8 per cent, depending on the trajectory of economic and political developments globally,” the Economic Survey said.
The government hopes India’s GDP growth in the 6-6.8 per cent range – which is still less than the 7 per cent forecast for the current fiscal – would be possible due to certain advantages the country has over other nations amid the economic disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In making the forecast, the Economic Survey cited limited health and economic fallout for the rest of the world from the current Covid surge in China, leaving supply chains intact in many nations including India.
More money is likely to flow into India as advanced economies face “recessionary tendencies” while India’s inflation remains below 6 per cent, the Economic Survey said. This will lead “to an improvement in animal spirits” and increase private sector investment, said the government survey that reviews how the economy performed in the past year.
Fears of a recession, however, have been heightened by mass layoffs by Big Tech in recent weeks.
India has recovered fast from the pandemic, the government said. The economic growth will be supported by “solid domestic demand and a pickup in capital investment”, it said. The inflation rate peaked at 7.8 per cent in April 2022, the survey said.
But the risks are also high, especially from global factors. A long period of inflation has forced central banks across the world to tighten financial conditions, the survey said, adding this tightening is visible now in the form of slowing economic activity in advanced economies.
“Another risk to the outlook originates from the ongoing monetary tightening exercise. While the pace of rate hikes has slowed, major central banks have reaffirmed their hawkish stance on inflation,” the Economic Survey said.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will present the Union Budget tomorrow. It would be her fifth Budget since 2019. She may tweak income-tax slabs to provide relief to the nation’s middle class and increase spending on the poor with programmes such as rural jobs.