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India's economic resilience: IMF predicts Indian economy will grow by nearly 6 per cent this fiscal year

New Delhi: In its flagship World Economic Outlook report, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) projected that India would be the fastest-growing economy in the world, despite confronting considerable challenges such as financial sector turmoil, inflationary pressures, effects of the Russia-Ukraine war, and the persistent impact of the Covid-19 pandemic over the past three years.
On April 11, The International Monetary Fund (IMF) released its latest World Economic Outlook report, projecting that the Indian economy will grow by 5.9 per cent in the current fiscal year, making it the fastest-growing economy in the world. Nonetheless, the organization also warned that disruption in the financial system could have a detrimental effect on overall global growth. IMF revised its 2023 global growth projections in response to cooling economic activity due to higher interest rates but warned that a sharp rise in financial system turmoil might push output to near recessionary levels. Projections for global economic growth in 2023 were reduced to 2.8 per cent. It was 0.1 percentage point less from the last IMF update in January and a 0.6 percentage point decrease from global economic growth in 2022. The IMF forecast global real GDP growth at 2.8 per cent for 2023 and 3 per cent for 2024 in its latest World Economic Outlook report. It marks a distinct slowdown from 3.4 per cent growth in 2022.
Despite facing formidable challenges, India stands tall and steadfast, emerging as a beacon of resilience in the global economy. She has emerged relatively unscathed, although the report lowered India's growth projection to 5.9 per cent. The last World Economic Outlook report had placed it at 6.1 per cent. The IMF's bi-annual report observed that India's headline retail inflation is expected to ease up, from 6.7 per cent in the previous year to 4.9 per cent in 2023-24. This is a clear indication of India's economic prowess and its unwavering determination to overcome even the toughest of obstacles.
IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva has praised India's efforts in leveraging digitalization to overcome the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, which has not only helped the country weather the storm but also created new opportunities for growth and employment. In an interview with the Indian news agency PTI, Georgieva declared India as a "bright spot" in the world economy, with the country expected to contribute a significant 15 per cent of the global growth in 2023.
Additionally, Georgieva lauded the recent Union budget for its balance between addressing development needs and maintaining fiscal responsibility with enhanced capital expenditure that provides a strong foundation for long-term growth and ensures sustainable development for India.
The IMF eagerly anticipates India's continued success, with its growth projections serving as a testament to the country's unwavering strength and resilience. Georgieva's words serve as a powerful endorsement of India's innovative approach and solid commitment to progress, demonstrating the country's economic dexterity[Ma1] and capability to overcome even the toughest of challenges. Top of form She lauded the latest Union budget for the balance between meeting the country's development needs and being fiscally responsible.
The budget has increased capital expenditure on important infrastructure projects, which will create a strong foundation for long-term growth and help India achieve sustainable development. She also appreciated India's rising investment in the green economy, including clean and renewable energy, looking forward to the conversion of this fiscal responsibility into a medium-term framework anchoring India's public finance.
IMF growth projection for India is lower than the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) estimates. RBI foresaw a 6.4 per cent in the current fiscal beginning April 1.
Despite a drop in growth rate projections, India continues to be the world's fastest-growing economy in the world. In early April, International Monetary Fund division Chief Daniel Leigh called the Indian economy a robust economy. Indian economy is likely to perform well, maintaining its standing as one of the fastest growing economies in the world, said Anne-Marie Gulde-Wolf, Deputy Director for Asia and Pacific Department, IMF.
China is likely to grow at 5.2 per cent in 2023 and 4.5 per cent in 2024. Its growth rate was at three per cent in 2022. The US's growth forecast is 1.6 per cent for 2023, France's 0.7 per cent. Germany and the UK are estimated to be hit by negative growth of -0.1 per cent and -0.7 per cent, respectively.
The latest IMF report projects India's inflation to ease up to 4.9 per cent in the current year and to 4.4 per cent next fiscal year.
However, the reports project global growth to bottom out at 2.8 per cent in 2023, though it may rise to 3 per cent in 2024. Inflation is like to stay high at 7 per cent for the rest of the year before declining to 4.9 per cent next year.
The report added that supply-chain disruptions and rising geopolitical tensions had brought the risks, potential benefits, and costs of geo-economic fragmentation to the centre of the policy debate. As a result, FDI flows tend to congregate around geopolitically aligned countries, particularly in strategic sectors. Due to their reliance on FDI from geopolitically distant countries, several emerging markets and developing economies are highly vulnerable to FDI migration.
The report added that FDI flight arising from the realignment of geopolitical blocs could cause significant output losses, especially for emerging markets and developing economies.
The report suggests that India's real GDP growth rate will likely exceed that of both the US and China. Real GDP is an index which reflects the total value of goods and services annually produced in a country. Strong real GDP growth distinguishes a growing economy. In such a scenario, employment is likely to increase since businesses hire more workers and people have more money in their pockets. Therefore, an increase in real GDP indicates that the economy is doing well.
India's growth trajectory continues to be strong and promising, with the IMF predicting that India and China will contribute to half of the world's growth in 2023.
Additionally, India's share of global gross domestic product growth is expected to surpass that of European giants France and the United Kingdom through 2028, making India a key player in driving global economic growth. With 20 nations driving 75 per cent of global growth, India remains among the top contributors, along with China, the US and Indonesia, further cementing its position as a leading economic power.
The IMF's latest World Economic Outlook report projects a healthy growth rate for the Indian economy, even amidst persistent challenges posed by financial sector turmoil, inflation, and the Covid-19 pandemic. India's resilience and efforts in leveraging digitalization and investing in the green economy have not gone unnoticed, and the country is expected to continue to be a major contributor to global growth. (ANI)

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