The World Bank on Wednesday projected India’s economic growth for the 2021-’22 financial year to be in the 7.5% to 12.5% range. The financial institution said India was bouncing back from the effects of the coronavirus crisis, but the country was still not “out of the woods”.
“Given the significant uncertainty pertaining to both epidemiological and policy developments, real GDP [gross domestic product] growth for FY 21/22 can range from 7.5 to 12.5%, depending on how the ongoing vaccination campaign proceeds, whether new restrictions to mobility are required, and how quickly the world economy recovers,” the World Bank said in its South Asia Economic Focus report.
Hans Timmer, World Bank’s chief economist for the South Asia Region, said that it was not normal to give growth forecast projection in a range, the Hindustan Times reported. “We are really in an unprecedented circumstance,” he added. “Not just the hits [were] unprecedented, but also the character of the crisis was as we had never seen before.”
When asked for a specific growth figure for India, Timmer said, “I’m always cost cautious to mention numbers, which might be contradicted in the report. My guess is around 10%, just above 10% for India.”
In January, World Bank had projected that India’s economy would contract by 9.6% in 2020-’21 financial year and recover to 5.4% in the next fiscal.
The chief economist for the World Bank’s South Asia region said that India had made significant progress compared to a year ago, PTI reported. “It is amazing how far India has come,” Timmer told the news agency. “If you think a year ago, how deep the recession was...unprecedented declines in activity of 30 to 40%, no clarity about vaccines, huge uncertainty about the disease. And then if you compare it now, India is bouncing back, has opened up many of the activities, started vaccination and is leading in the production of vaccination.”
However, Timmer said that the situation was still challenging as coronavirus cases are surging in India. “It is an enormous challenge to vaccinate everybody in India,” he told PTI. “Most of the people underestimate the challenge.”
The economist added that there were still many parts of India’s economy “that have not recovered or have not fared as well as they would have without a pandemic”. “There is a huge concern about the financial markets,” he added.