India Economy - April 2012

Source: OPEC 5/10/2012, Location: Asia

The new all-India CPI inflation measure surged to 8.8% in February from 7.7% in January, suggesting that retail price pressures firmed that month (JP Morgan, 30 March 2012). However, core inflation has been falling to around 6%. With the reduction of budget deficits targeted by the RBI is likely to cut rates by 25 bp at the April review of policy, provided that core inflation continues to moderate in March.

Considering India’s slowing economic expansion, runaway public spending and a rising subsidy bill, the country’s finance minister was expected to announce some hard decisions in his budget speech for fiscal year 2012-2013 on 16 March. However, at the event, the budget did not indicate any significant policy changes or radical solutions; instead, some tax increases were introduced. Since the government’s assumed oil price did not come true, and given substantial fuel subsidies, the government’s deficit increased to 5.9% of GDP from 4.6%.

GDP data for October-December 2011 released by the Indian government at end of February 2012 showed that economic growth had slowed to 6.1% on an annual basis compared to 6.9% during the previous quarter. Growth in three broad sectors remained strong: electricity, gas and water supply (up by 9%); trade, hotels, transport and communications (9.2%); and financing, insurance, real estate and business services (9%). However, mining and quarrying declined by 3.1% and manufacturing grew only by 0.4%.


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