News / Asia

India's Slowing Economy Unlikely to Stage Quick Recovery

A customer leaves a shoe store in Mumbai January 31, 2012.
A customer leaves a shoe store in Mumbai January 31, 2012.
Anjana Pasricha

Economists in India say the nation's economy is growing at its slowest pace in three years.  From New Delhi, Economic growth is not expected to pick up significant pace anytime soon. 

Government estimates have confirmed what economists have been saying for several months.  India’s economy will grow by 6.9 percent in the financial year that ends in March. That figure is sharply down from the 9 percent growth the government had forecast at the start of 2011.  It is also the slowest pace since the economy was hit by the 2008 global financial crisis.

At that time, India’s economy had staged a swift recovery.  But most economists say this time, that will not happen.

A. Prasanna, an economist at ICICI Securities in Mumbai, says global economic turbulence and domestic problems have contributed significantly to the slackening pace this time.  

“Investment demand has really slowed down in India because business sentiment has turned weak," explained Prasanna.  "On top of that we had the Reserve Bank hiking interest rates quite aggressively though the whole of last year to contain inflation, so the higher rates have had further dampening impact on investment.”

The government is being blamed for the reduction in investment demand.  It put pro-business policies on hold to deal with a series of corruption scandals and a lack of political consensus.

Moreover, its own finances are also not as healthy as they were in 2008.  Then, the government injected billions of dollars to boost consumer demand.  It cannot do this again because it is grappling with a high fiscal deficit.  

Economist Prasanna says all eyes are on the federal budget to be announced next month because the government’s response could be critical in determining the pace of recovery.

“If the government does send out a signal that they will work hard to bring down the deficit, that and take up an opportunity to proceed with some reforms in key sectors, it will help in bringing down interest rates," Prasanna said.  "It will also help in improving business sentiment.  That may not help much in the current year, but it's important down the line.”

However, there is some cause for cheer.  After losing 25 percent of their value last year, stock markets are recovering as more foreign funds begin to flow in.  The local currency, the rupee, has also recovered some value after falling to an all time low against the dollar last year.  

But economists caution that the government cannot take high growth for granted as it has done for years.  They say it will have to work harder to give fresh momentum to the economy. 

Most forecasts put growth at around 7 percent in the coming year.  That is high compared to developed countries, but not high enough for an emerging economy that hopes to be one of the engines of a global economic recovery this decade.

You May Like

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs