News / Asia

Interest Rate Hikes Take Toll on Indian Economy

A man welds a wheel used for packing medicine inside a factory in the western Indian city of Ahmedabad. India's factory sector expanded at its slowest pace in more than two years in August as export orders shrank amid weakening global demand, September 2,
A man welds a wheel used for packing medicine inside a factory in the western Indian city of Ahmedabad. India's factory sector expanded at its slowest pace in more than two years in August as export orders shrank amid weakening global demand, September 2,

A series of interest rate hikes is beginning to take a toll on the Indian economy. The rate increases have slowed economic growth and dampened business confidence.

Second quarter economic growth, from April to June, fell to 7.7 percent compared to 8.8 percent during the same period last year. But the numbers have caused little surprise.

Economists have been warning that 11 interest rate hikes in the last year and a half by the Central Bank would stunt economic growth.

The interest rate hikes are meant to curb inflation, which the Central Bank says is a greater challenge to the economy than a marginal slowdown. In fact, yet another rate hike is expected this month because inflation continues to remain above nine per cent.

For an economy that has been surging in recent years, the interest rate hikes are dampening optimism. A recent survey by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry said business confidence has slumped to a two-year low as companies are rattled by a slowing domestic and global economy.

D.H. Pai Panindiker, an economist at the RPG Goenka Foundation, says investment has slowed in recent months.  “The high rate of interest itself knocks down many profitable projects. Lucrative projects become non viable. Apart from that industry cannot raise capital because the share market has been bearish. Since January, share prices have come down by nearly 13 to 14 percent. That makes it difficult for companies to raise new capital,” Panindiker stated.

The worst-hit sectors are construction and automobile manufacturing, as higher interest rates have dampened demand for houses and cars.      

Businesses are also concerned with what observers call a “policy paralysis” in the government. Preoccupied with defusing a widespread anti-corruption protest movement, the government has failed to move forward with long-awaited economic reforms that would attract more foreign investment and give business a boost.

Economist Panindiker says there are concerns about the future. “The mood now is not very cheerful... As far as the common man is concerned he is worried about inflation, as far as industry is concerned, they are worried about growth and investment,” Panindiker stated.

India is Asia’s third biggest economy and had emerged virtually unscathed from the 2008 financial crisis. But the recent dip in growth is causing some worry, particularly amid mounting fears of a new global slowdown.

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