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Post demonetisation, WB cuts India’s growth rate to 7 per cent

WASHINGTON, Jan 11:
The World Bank today cut India’s GDP growth for 2016-17 fiscal to 7 per cent from its previous estimate of 7.6 per cent citing the impact of demonetisation, but forecast that the country would regain momentum in the following years with a growth of 7.6 per cent and 7.8 per cent due to a reform initiatives.
“The immediate withdrawal of a large volume of currency in circulation and subsequent replacement with new notes announced by the government in November contributed to slowing growth in 2016,” the World Bank said in its report, the first after the government junked high-value curriencies on November 8.
In its first report after November’s demonetisation, the World Bank said, “Indian growth is estimated to have decelerated to a still robust 7 per cent (in fiscal 2017 ending on March 31, 2017), with continued tailwinds from low oil prices and solid agricultural output partly offset by challenges associated with the withdrawal of a large volume of currency in circulation and subsequent replacement with new notes.”
Notably, India maintains the distinction of being the fastest growing emerging market economies of the world, bypassing China.
“India is expected to regain its momentum, with growth rising to 7.6 per cent in Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 and strengthening to 7.8 per cent in FY 2019-20,” the Bank said, adding that various reform initiatives are expected to unlock domestic supply bottlenecks and raise productivity.
Infrastructure spending should improve the business climate and attract investment in the near-term, it added.
“The ‘Make in India’ campaign may support India’s manufacturing sector, backed by domestic demand and further regulatory reforms. Moderate inflation and a civil service pay hike should support real incomes and consumption, assisted by bumper harvests after favourable monsoon rains,” the Bank said in its latest report Global Economic Prospects.
“A benefit of ‘demonetisation’ in the medium-term may be liquidity expansion in the banking system, helping to lower lending rates and lift economic activity,” it said. (PTI)

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