India will remain the fastest growing major economy in 2024 – Republic World

Despite significant global challenges in 2023, India has maintained its position as the world's fastest-growing major economy, driven by increasing demand, controlled inflation, stable interest rates and significant foreign exchange reserves.

India's GDP showed resilience and grew by 6.1 per cent in the March quarter, followed by growth of 7.8 per cent and 7.6 per cent in subsequent quarters. Cumulative growth for the first half of the fiscal year was 7.7 percent.

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) forecasts that India will achieve a growth rate of 6.3 percent in 2023, surpassing China's 5.2 percent and Brazil's 3 percent. For 2024, the OECD expects a growth rate of 6.1 percent for India and 4.7 percent for China.

In contrast, major economies such as the US, UK and Japan are expected to see either a slowdown or minimal growth in the coming year.

Ashima Goyal, member of the Reserve Bank of India's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), highlighted India's economic resilience, attributing it to greater economic diversity and effective policies. She also highlighted the importance of improving capabilities and assets for sustainable growth beyond 2024.

Dharmakirti Joshi, chief economist at Crisil, pointed out that geopolitical factors could threaten India's domestic demand in the coming year and forecast a GDP growth rate of 6.4 percent in the next financial year.

Recent reports from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) highlighted India's economic strength, pointing to positive consumer confidence and income perceptions. RBI's DSGE model forecasts a growth rate of 6 per cent for the financial year 2024-25, with inflation expected to moderate.

Retail inflation fluctuated throughout the year. The numbers for November were 5.55 percent, which was in line with the RBI's comfort zone. Aditi Nayar, chief economist at Icra, expects inflation to moderate further, depending on favorable monsoon conditions.

The RBI maintains an “actively disinflationary” stance and has kept the repo rate at 6.5 percent since February. This stability has strengthened the financial position of banks and companies.

Looking ahead, the RBI could consider a rate cut in 2024 if inflation remains in the 2-6 percent range and global geopolitical tensions, including conflicts in regions such as Russia-Ukraine and Israel-Gaza, do not unexpectedly escalate .

Ranen Banerjee, partner at PwC India, suggested that India's growth rate in 2024 could be between 6.3 and 6.6 percent, depending on geopolitical developments. He also highlighted India's robust foreign exchange reserves, which crossed $600 billion in December, as a stabilizing factor amid global uncertainties.

Furthermore, India's current account deficit improved significantly, narrowing to 1 per cent of GDP in the September quarter of 2023 from 3.8 per cent a year ago.

(With PTI inputs)

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