'Double-digit growth for India in 2021'

NEW DELHI: The second wave of COVID-19 infections presents a risk to India's growth forecast as the reimposition of measures to curb the spread of the virus will hit economic activity, but a double-digit GDP growth is likely in 2021 given the low level of activity last year, Moody's said on Tuesday.

Moody's expects that given the focus on 'micro-containment zones' to deal with the current wave of infections, as opposed to a nationwide lockdown, the impact on economic activity would be less severe than that seen in 2020.

"India's very low coronavirus death count (only about 1,70,179 deaths have been recorded as of April 12) and relatively very young population also help mitigate risks. GDP is still likely to grow in double digits in 2021 given the low level of activity in 2020," Moody's Investors Service said.

In its commentary on India, Moody's said the countermeasures to combat the second wave some of which are due to remain in place at least until the end of April risk weakening the economic recovery. However, the targeted nature of containment measures and rapid progress on vaccinating the population will mitigate the credit-negative impact.

In February, Moody's had bettered India's growth projection for the current fiscal year, which began on April 1, to 13.7 per cent as economic activity gathered pace.

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