Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - IMF calls for urgent action by India amid slowdown

IMF calls for urgent action by India amid slowdown

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
IMF chief economist Gita Gopinath said the fund is set to significantly downgrade its growth estimates for the Indian economy in the World Economic Outlook. afp

IMF calls for urgent action by India amid slowdown

India's government must take steps quickly to reverse the economic slowdown of an economy that has been one of the engines of global growth, the International Monetary Fund said Monday.

Declining consumption and investment, and falling tax revenue, have combined with other factors to put the brakes on one of the fastest growing economies in the world, the IMF said in its annual review.

After lifting millions out of poverty “India is now in the midst of a significant economic slowdown,” Ranil Salgado, of the IMF Asia and Pacific Department, told reporters.

“Addressing the current downturn and returning India to a high growth path requires urgent policy actions.”

However, the government has limited space to boost spending to support growth, especially given high debt levels and interest payments, the fund warned

IMF chief economist Gita Gopinath last week said India’s slowdown had “surprised to the downside,” and said the fund is set to significantly downgrade its growth estimates for the Indian economy in the World Economic Outlook which will be released next month.

The IMF in October slashed its forecast for 2019 by nearly a full point to 6.1 per cent, while cutting the outlook for 2020 to 7.0 per cent.

Salgado said India’s central bank has “room to cut the policy rate further, especially if the economic slowdown continues.”

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) cut the key lending rate five times this year to a nine-year low, but at its last meeting earlier this month defied expectations by keeping policy unchanged.

The central bank slashed its annual growth forecast to 5 per cent from 6.1 per cent, as consumer demand and manufacturing activity contracts.

India’s economy grew at its slowest pace in more than six years in the July-September period, down to 4.5 per cent from 7.0 per cent a year ago, according to government data.

Salgado said “the government needs to reinvigorate the reform agenda,” including restoring the health of the financial sector in order to “enhance its ability to provide credit to the economy.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Without shoes or a helmet, a young cyclist steals the show

    Pech Theara gripped the curved handlebars of his rusty old bike, planted his bare feet on its pedals and stormed as fast as he could towards the finish line. The odds were against him as the 13-year-old faced off against kids with nicer bikes at

  • Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville expressway on schedule

    The construction of the more than $1.9 billion Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville Expressway has not been delayed despite the Covid-19 pandemic, with more than 26 per cent of the project completed and expected to finish in about two years, according to Ministry of Public Works and Transport secretary of

  • Singapore group seeks $14M in damages from PPSP over ‘breach of contract’

    Singapore-based Asiatic Group (Holdings) Ltd is seeking a minimum of $14.4 million relief from Cambodia Securities Exchange (CSX)-listed Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone Plc (PPSP) for allegedly breaching a power plant joint venture (JV) agreement. Asiatic Group’s wholly-owned Colben System Pte Ltd and 95 per

  • Over 110 garment factories close

    A government official said on November 22 that at least 110 garment factories had closed in the first nine months of the year and left more than 55,000 workers without jobs – but union leaders worry those numbers could be much higher. Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training undersecretary

  • PM dispels lockdown rumours, gifts masks

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on November 12 denied rumours that he will lock down the country in response to increased Covid-19 fears, referring to them as propaganda aimed at destabilising the country. In a Facebook post, he said some people had spread rumours that the government

  • SilkAir adds flight to Phnom Penh schedule

    Silkair (Singapore) Pte Ltd is increasing its flight frequency between Phnom Penh and Singapore with a third weekly flight on Saturdays, according to Cambodia Airports’ Facebook page. The other flights offered are on Tuesdays and Sundays, with an estimated Phnom Penh arrival time at 5:35pm