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Forecasters lower GDP rate at 6.5%: RBI

Professional forecasters have lowered India’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate forecast for 2012-13 to 6.5 per cent from the earlier 7.2 per cent on back of high inflation and deficient monsoon, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI)on Monday said.

‘Survey of Professional Forecasters’, conducted by the Reserve Bank, also shows a downward revision in the median growth forecast for the first quarter of 2012-13 to 5.5 per cent, showing a downward revision from 6.6 per cent. ‘Real GDP growth rate forecast for 2012-13 is revised downwards to 6.5 per cent from 7.2 per cent in the last survey... the forecasters were asked to assign probabilities to the possibility of year-on-year real GDP growth rate falling into various ranges. For 2012-13, they assigned maximum probability of 34.3 per cent to 6.0-6.4 per cent growth range for GDP with an upward bias,’ the RBI said.

In the case of inflation, the RBI said, forecasters have predicted the WPI numbers falling into 7.0-7.9 per cent by end-March 2012-13 with a downward bias.

External agencies also see moderation in growth ahead, with the IMF placing GDP at 6.1 per cent this calendar year, World Bank seeing 6.9 per cent for the fiscal, OECD at 7.3 per cent, and ADB at 6.5 per cent.

‘Stuttering global growth coupled with domestic concerns on multiple fronts, viz, weak IIP growth momentum, persistent inflation, and high fiscal and current account deficits, without much being done on the reform front, have led to further downward revisions in the growth outlook for 2012-13,’ the RBI said.

Further, the government’s fiscal deficit is projected at 5.5 per cent of GDP in 2012-13, the same as forecast in the last round and the combined gross fiscal deficit of Centre and States is placed at 7.9 per cent of GDP in 2012-13, marginally down from the last survey.
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