RBI in its December policy meeting upgraded India’s GDP forecast and expects economy to shrink 7.5% this fiscal vs earlier forecast of 9.5% contraction as the economy is recuperating faster than anticipated. Further, even the IMF upgraded its forecast for GDP growth in FY22 (8.8% growth earlier to 11.5% growth) making it the only key nation to record a double-digit growth and reclaim the status of world’s fastest growing major economy.
Additionally, RBI expects growth to be in positive trajectory for Oct-Dec 2020 period and predicts a V-shaped recovery in FY21 driven by rollout of vaccine. Also, since mid-September, India has done well to flatten the curve of Covid-19 cases. The number of active cases had fallen to 1.5 lakh from a peak of 10 lakh cases in September.
FY21 is half done and the macro data available till now shows the hits to the economy because of the coronavirus pandemic. However, there are signs of revival. After the country’s economy contracted by a record 23.9% in April-June quarter, contraction for Q2’21 is expected to be around 8.6% as projected by RBI.
However, recent data suggests brightening prospects for October and if this upturn sustains, the Indian economy may return to growth in October-December quarter, thereby making a case for GDP upgrades soon.
Global Stock Markets
Despite the pandemic, the global stock markets (especially the US market) continue to be on steroids driven mainly by excess liquidity, positive sentiment post Joe Biden’s victory and also recent announcement by Pfizer and Moderna on positive vaccine update.