Covid impact: S&P slashes India’s GDP growth forecast to 9.8% for FY22

S&P Global Ratings on Wednesday slashed India’s GDP growth forecast for the current financial year to 9.8 per cent saying the second COVID wave may derail the budding recovery in the economy and credit conditions.

The US-based rating agency in March had a 11 per cent GDP growth forecast for India for the April 2021-March 2022 fiscal on account of a fast economic reopening and fiscal stimulus.

S&P, which currently has a ‘BBB-‘ rating on India with a stable outlook, said the depth of the Indian economy’s deceleration will determine the hit on its sovereign credit profile.

The Indian government’s fiscal position is already stretched. The general government deficit was about 14 per cent of GDP in fiscal 2021, with net debt stock of just over 90 per cent of GDP.

“India’s second wave has prompted us to reconsider our forecast of 11 per cent GDP growth this fiscal year. The timing of the peak in cases, and subsequent rate of decline, drive our considerations,” said S&P Global Ratings Asia-Pacific chief economist Shaun Roache.

It said the projections assume that initial shocks to private consumption and investment filter through to the rest of the economy.

For example, lower consumption will mean less hiring, lower wages, and a second hit to consumption, it noted.

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