Ratings agency India Ratings on Thursday lowered India’s growth projection for the financial year 2021-’22 to 9.4% from the earlier forecast of 9.6%.
The agency pointed out that while India’s economy has seen a strong recovery after the devastating second wave of the pandemic, the pace of vaccination in the country remains slow.
“Going by the pace of vaccination, it is now almost certain that India will not be able to vaccinate its entire adult population by December 31, 2021,” India Ratings’ Principal Economist Sunil Kumar Sinha said.
The central government has repeatedly said that it would vaccinate all citizens above the age of 18 by the end of this year.
Sinha added that India’s economy was witnessing a slowdown in consumption even before the pandemic struck. The countrywide lockdown, which began from March 25, 2020, aggravated the economic slowdown as jobs, livelihoods and household budgets were severely impacted, he said.
In a report, the agency said that the second wave of the pandemic had also affected the rural wage growth, adding that household spending was also likely to remain muted during this financial year.
Due to this, the rural wage growth and household spending were likely to remain muted during this financial year. Residents of urban areas were also facing a loss or stagnation in income along with rise in consumer inflation, the report added.
On August 5, the Reserve Bank of India had raised its inflation projection for this fiscal year to 5.7% compared to 5.1% in the last announcement.
India’s Gross Domestic Product contracted by an unprecedented 7.3% in the financial year 2020-’21, amid the pandemic and a countrywide lockdown that disrupted economic activities.
The government had, on several occasions, expressed confidence of a sharp rise in recovery in the economy in this financial year.
However, several economic organisations, including the Reserve Bank of India, have revised their growth projections for India to under 10% over the last few months.
On June 4, the Reserve Bank of India revised its estimate for 2021-’22 to 9.5% from the previous forecast of 10.5%.
Last month, the International Monetary Fund lowered its growth projection from 12.5% to 9.5%. In the last week of June, S&P Global Ratings lowered India’s growth forecast for 2021-2022 to 9.5% from the earlier projected 11%. Moody’s Investors Service has also revised the growth forecast for India to 9.6% from the earlier estimate of 13.9%.