United Nations' Economic and Social Survey for Asia and the Pacific-2016 report, released on Thursday, said that the Indian economy is projected to expand by 7.6% in 2016-17 and grow further to 7.8% in 2017-18, mainly on the back of domestic consumption demand aided by steady employment and a relatively low inflation. The survey was conducted by United Nations' Economic and Social Commision for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).
Over India’s projection growth at 7.8% in 2017-18, Economic affairs officer in the UN department of economic and social affairs, Sebastian Vergara said, “Cautious macro economic policy, reduced inflation and some structural reforms have helped the country perform relatively well in an environment of global economic slowdown.”
He told media persons at the launch of the report at United Nations that several demographic and structural factors are responsible for India performing in a “relatively very good way” as compared to economic growth in other countries.
“The macro-economic policy in recent years has been cautious, especially in the fiscal side. This has been a positive development to provide a good framework to increase the sentiment of consumers,” Vergara said.
He added that monetary policy has also played an “important role” in reducing inflation in recent years. “That is also playing a positive role for the Indian economy,” he aadded.
He however noted that the picture is “mixed” with respect to structural reforms being undertaken in the country.
“In some areas, the Indian government has made important efforts and those efforts are starting to pay off in terms of increase in investment but there are some areas where structural reforms are having some slow progress,” he said.
The report projects inflation for India at 5.2% for the 2016-17 fiscal and 5.6% for the 2017-18 year.
The report said that in South and South-West Asia, India’s economy is gradually gaining growth momentum “amid making steady, albeit uneven, progress” on policy reforms to attract foreign investment and revive stalled infrastructure projects.
“The positive spillovers of stronger growth in India into other major economies in the subregion are, however, small in view of the limited trade and financial interlinkages. Despite a recent increase, the subregion’s economic growth rate remains below its potential,” it said.
For India, “the near-term growth outlook is positive”, with the projected growth being 7.6% in 2016 and 7.8% in 2017, it said.