The International Monetary Fund on Tuesday cut its growth projection for India to 1.9% from the earlier estimated 5.8% for the financial year 2020-2021 as the intensifying coronavirus pandemic continues to crush the global economy.
With a subdued forecast, India is likely to record its worst growth performance since liberalisation in 1991, the IMF said in its latest edition of the World Economy report. But the IMF added that only India and China will see positive growth in 2020.
The economies of the world’s most developed countries are likely to contract in 2020, the IMF said. “We project global growth in 2020 to fall by 3%,” IMF Chief Economist Gita Gopinath said. “This is a downgrade of 6.3 percentage points from January 2020, a major revision over a very short period.” Gopinath said that the IMF projects global growth in 2021 to rebound to 5.8%, assuming that the coronavirus pandemic fades in the second half of 2020.
IMF projected India’s growth rate in 2021-2022 at 7.4%. China’s economy is likely to grow at 9.2% while the United States has been projected to grow at 4.5%.
British brokerage Barclays on Tuesday said India’s decision to extend the nationwide lockdown to combat the coronavirus pandemic till May 3 will inflict an economic loss of $234.4 billion (approximately Rs 18 lakh crore) or 8.1% of GDP. It also cut its growth forecast for the calendar year 2020 to 0% from the earlier projection of 2.5%.
On Monday, Reserve Bank of India Governor Shaktikanta Das said that the central bank will use any instrument necessary to revive growth and preserve financial stability to mitigate the adverse economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
The number of coronavirus cases in India has risen to 10,815, including 353 deaths. Earlier on Tuesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that the nationwide lockdown to slow down the rapidly spreading Covid-19 will be extended till May 3. Opposition parties criticised Modi for not announcing concrete measures to rebuild India’s damaged economy.