Thursday, June 19, 2008

CMIE growth forecast is 9.5% !

As readers of this blog and my column, I remain upbeat about growth prospects in the current year (2008-09) despite the combination of financial market shocks and oil shocks. But the CMIE forecast for this year takes the cake- they see growth at 9.5%! This is driven by a huge investment boom.

I agree that investment will be a big driver but my own assessment was that growth would be moderated by interest rate rises and would settle at 8-8.5%. If the CMIE's forecast is borne out, Indian growth would be an astonishing achievement. It would demolish once and for all the thesis that the recent growth boom was a cylical phenomenon, driven by foreign inflows, cheap credit and global demand. It would confirm the view that many of us hold that growth is structural in character.

Secondly, if underlying growth is as strong as CMIE believes, that gives the RBI so much more elbow room to tackle inflation. The inference that would follow is that there are strong demand pressures in the economy and monetary policy needs further tightening.

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