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

Koreas Mark 61st Anniversary of War Armistice

Muted observances on both sides of heavily-armed Demilitarized Zone that separates two decades-long enemies More

Judge Declares Washington DC Ban on Public Handguns Unconstitutional

Ruling overturns capital city's prohibition on carrying guns in pubic More

Pricey Hepatitis C Drug Draws Criticism

Activists are using the International AIDS Conference to criticize drug companies for charging high prices for life-saving therapies 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.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid