Thursday, March 15, 2012

Economic Survey 2011-12: Inflation Pegged at 6.5 Per Cent, Maintained GDP Growth at 6.9 Per Cent

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee presented the Economy Survey 2011-12– a report card of the Indian economic scenario for current fiscal– in the Lok Sabha (lower house of the Parliament) on March 15.
Inflation Rate
The Survey pegged inflation at 6.5-7 percent by end of March and projected a further moderation in the next fiscal. Inflation in the current fiscal has largely been driven by high food prices. It had slipped to a low of 6.6 percent in January, but rebounded to almost 7 percent in February. The survey, however, said that fiscal consolidation was the only way to keep inflation down.
The survey said that monetary measures by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and its impact on curbing inflation needed to be studied further to improve efficiency of such actions in the future. Incidentally, the RBI in its mid-quarter review of the monetary policy left key rates unchanged, citing upside risks to inflation.
Growth Rate
The Economic Survey has maintained Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth at 6.9 per cent. The growth in the financial year 2012-13 growth is expected to come in at 7.6 per cent and the financial year 2013-14 growth is pegged at 8.6 per cent.
Indian along with Indonesia showed strong growth despite a global economic slowdown in the final quarter of 2011, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
IMF in its latest provisional report has said the GDP growth of G20 – a grouping of leading economies of the world – slowed to 0.7 per cent in the October-December quarter, compared with 0.9 per cent in the third quarter.
In the United States, GDP growth increased to 0.7 per cent in the fourth quarter, compared with 0.5 per cent in third quarter.
The IMF stated that in India and Indonesia growth increased strongly, but slowed in China to 2 per cent, compared with 2. 3 per cent in the third quarter.
In Japan, economic growth decreased to (-)0.2 per cent, following the strong rebound (+1. 7 per cent) in third quarter.
The Survey states that GDP fell by (-)0.3 per cent in both the European Union and the euro area in the fourth quarter of 2011, the first fall since the second quarter of 2009.
Fiscal Deficit
The Survey states that the fiscal outcome in 2011-12 is likely to be affected by the macroeconomic setting which indicates sharp slowdown in industry and rising costs affecting profits. In the first nine months of the current fiscal, gross tax revenue has grown by 12.2 per cent as against the budget estimate target of 17.3 per cent, it said.
On the other hand, as against a target of 4.9 per cent for the whole year, growth in total expenditure in the first nine months of 2011-12 was 13.9 per cent, which comprised 15.4 per cent growth in non-Plan expenditure and 10.8 per cent growth in Plan expenditure, the survey added.
Per Capita Income
According to the Survey, the per capita income of India stood at $ 1,527 in 2011. The Survey says that this is perhaps the most visible challenge. Nevertheless, India has a diverse set of factors, domestic as well as external that could drive growth well into the future.
The Survey further says that between 1980 and 2010, India achieved a growth of 6.2 per cent, while the world as a whole registered a growth rate of 3.3 per cent. As a result, India’s share in global GDP more than doubled from 2.5 per cent in 1980 to 5.5 per cent in 2010.
Consequently, India’s rank in per capita GDP showed an improvement from 117 in 1990 to 101 in 2000 and further to 94 in 2009. China, however, improved its rank from 127 to 74 during the same period.
* India's economic growth estimated at 6.9 per cent in the current fiscal; growth momentum to pick up in next two fiscals to 7.6 per cent 2012-13 and 8.6 per cent in 2013-14.
* RBI expected to lower policy interest rates, as inflationary pressures expected to ease in coming months; A low interest rate regime to encourage investment activity and push forward economic growth.
* Steps required for deepening of domestic financial markets, especially corporate bond market and attracting longer-term inflows from abroad; Efforts at attracting dedicated infrastructure funds have begun.
* The growth rate of investment in the economy is estimated to have declined significantly; borrowing costs up due to a sharp increase in interest rates.
* High borrowing costs and increase in other costs affecting profitability and internal accruals.
* Slowdown in Indian economy largely due to global factors, as also because of domestic factors like tightening of monetary policy, high inflation and slower investment and industrial activities.
* Inflation high, but showing clear signs of slowdown by the year-end; Whole-sale food inflation down to 1.6 per cent in January 2012 from 20.2 per cent in February 2010.
* India remains one of the fastest growing economies of the world; Country's sovereign credit rating rose by a substantial 2.98 per cent 2007-12
* Farm sector growth pegged at 2.5 percent for 2011-12.
* Services sector to grow at 9.4 percent.
* Services sector share in GDP to go up to 59 percent in the fiscal ending March 31.
* Industrial growth pegged at 4-5 percent, expected to improve as economic recovery resumes.
* Inflation on Wholesale Price Index (WPI) was high but showed clear slow down by the year-end. This is likely to spur investment activities leading to positive impact on growth.
* WPI food inflation dropped from 20.2 percent in February 2010 to 1.6 percent in January 2012.
* Calibrated steps initiated to rein-in inflation on top priority.
* India remains among the fastest growing economies of the world.
* Fiscal consolidation on track - savings and capital formation expected to rise.
* Exports grew by 40.5 percent in the first half of this fiscal and imports grew by 30.4 percent.
* Foreign trade performance to remain a key driver of growth.
* Forex reserves enhanced - covering nearly the entire external debt stock.
* Central spending on social services goes up to 18.5 percent this fiscal from 13.4 percent in 2006-07.

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