India's economy strong, outlook stable despite Moody's: govt
08 November 2019
India’s economic fundamentals are strong, outlook stable and the country’s relative standing among global economies remains unaffected, irrespective of rating agency Moody’s decision to downgrade India’s rating, the finance ministry has stated.
India also continues to be among the fastest growing major economies in the world, the finance ministry stated while reacting to Moody’s Investors Service changing its outlook on India’s sovereign rating to negative from stable while keeping the foreign-currency and local-currency long-term issuer ratings unchanged at Baa2.
The finance ministry also noted that IMF in its latest World Economic Outlook has stated that the Indian economy is set to grow at 6.1 per cent in 2019, picking up to 7 per cent in 2020. As India’s potential growth rate remains unchanged, assessment by IMF and other multilateral organisations continue to underline a positive outlook on India, it added.
The government, the finance ministry said, has undertaken a series of financial sector and other reforms to strengthen the economy as a whole. Government has also proactively taken policy decisions in response to the global slowdown. These measures would lead to a positive outlook on India and would attract capital flows and stimulate investments.
The fundamentals of the economy remain quite robust with inflation under check and bond yields low. India continues to offer strong prospects of growth in near and medium term it added.
Rating agency Moody's downgraded India's credit rating outlook to 'negative' from 'stable' saying that the country's economic growth will remain materially lower than in the past.
The agency affirmed the Baa2 foreign-currency and local-currency long-term issuer ratings.
“Moody's decision to change the outlook to negative reflects increasing risks that economic growth will remain materially lower than in the past, partly reflecting lower government and policy effectiveness at addressing long-standing economic and institutional weaknesses than Moody's had previously estimated, leading to a gradual rise in the debt burden from already high levels,” it said.
“...the prospects of further reforms that would support business investment and growth at high levels, and significantly broaden the narrow tax base, have diminished,” the agency said in a statement.
If nominal GDP growth does not return to high rates, Moody's expects that the government will face very significant constraints in narrowing the general government budget deficit and preventing a rise in the debt burden.
Moody's also affirmed India's Baa2 local-currency senior unsecured rating and its P-2 other short-term local-currency rating, a statement said.
While government measures to support the economy should help to reduce the depth and duration of India's growth slowdown, prolonged financial stress among rural households, weak job creation, and, more recently, a credit crunch among non-bank financial institutions (NBFIs), have increased the probability of a more entrenched slowdown.