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Limited room for India to ease fiscal policy: Fitch

Limited room for India to ease fiscal policy: Fitch
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Fitch Ratings on Tuesday forecasted India's economic growth at 6.6 per cent during the current year, down from 6.8 per cent in the previous year, and said the government has only limited room to ease fiscal policy because of high debt.

New Delhi: Fitch Ratings on Tuesday forecasted India's economic growth at 6.6 per cent during the current year, down from 6.8 per cent in the previous year, and said the government has only limited room to ease fiscal policy because of high debt.

It said GDP (gross domestic product) growth is likely to rebound to 7.1 per cent next year.

Keeping India's rating unchanged at BBB- with a stable outlook, it said the rating balances a strong medium-term growth outlook and relative external resilience with sturdy foreign reserve buffers, against high public debt, financial sector fragilities and some lagging structural factors.

In its Asia-Pacific Sovereign Credit Overview, Fitch said India's GDP growth decreased for a fifth consecutive quarter in the April-June quarter to 5 per cent, the lowest in six years.

"Domestic demand is faltering, with both private consumption and investment proving lackluster, while the global trade environment is also weak," it said.

The contribution of gross fixed capital formation (1.3 per cent) remained weak at the same level of the January-March quarter, when it dropped sharply, while the contribution of private consumption fell to 1.8 per cent in the April-June from an average of 4.6 per cent in the preceding four quarters.

Manufacturing grew by only 0.6 per cent, it said. The government's policy measures to stimulate the economy include support for the automobile sector, a reduction in capital gains tax, and additional liquidity support for "shadow" banks.

Accompanying structural reforms include a further easing of the foreign direct investment (FDI) regime and consolidation of the public banking sector.

"There is only limited room to ease fiscal policy, given the high public debt," it said.

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