India’s Annual Monetary Policy 2011 – Inflation Is Expected To Remain High Amid Robust Economic Growth.

The thirst of robust economic expansion and higher commodity prices will technically push inflation on the upside and interest rate in India is expected to remain high for the next couple of fiscal years as the RBI seeming to keep interest rates on the higher side to maintain the cost of credit exorbitant to lessen the demand.

 

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It was the confrontational step of the Reserve Bank of India by revising another 50 bps in its policy rates to address the wild price rise situation in order to eliminate the risk of higher inflation and to persuade the Indian economy to grow fast but sustainably. VMW has analyzed the inflation problem from the household’s kitchen to the corporate decision maker and found that the food prices are not rising as fast as the non-food articles do, due to increase in international commodity prices. Food prices in March rose by 9.47 per cent while the prices of non-food articles rose by 25.88 per cent largely inflated by expensive crude oil and other important imported commodity products. So far, the effect of RBI’s rate tightening and expensive commodity prices – rallied on the economic euphoria – can be seen on the Capital Goods sector of India. India’s IIP index has been fluctuating, and the capital goods, index in particular, has performed deplorably (see figure below) due to higher cost of credit, tolling in the company’s income statement in terms of higher interest payments. Construction, Energy, Real Estate, Diversified and Infrastructure companies have piled up billions of dollars in terms of debt to function their operations and to execute their awarded projects.

 

The important wings of the Indian government and the Reserve Bank of India are expecting the inflation around 6 per cent by the end of the fiscal year 2012. However, the VMW’s estimates are bucking the government and RBI’s estimates – expecting the inflation to remain above 6 percent and even in a double digit by the end of this year (up to 11 percent). The only fundamental cause is the India’s hunger of economic expansion at a faster pace, and the same would not pull down the inflation to lower levels, since it will dramatically push the demand in the economy for pricey imported commodity. Moreover, the US Federal Reserves’ monetary expansion program, known by Quantitative Easing or QE2 is scheduled to end by Jun, 2011 and, perhaps, it will not reduce the impact of higher inflation in the economy right away and high supply of a dollar could depreciate it against the other major currencies, which will push the international commodity prices. The expensive imports will prevail upon the higher current account deficit until the export figures too remain blunt. Henceforth, the Current Account Deficit remains a prime concern for the economy. Although, RBI is not considering it as a major threat but the VMW is deliberating the same, and the prime predicament could be the lower portfolio investments since Foreign Institutional Investors’ flows (FII) are the immediate source of financing the Current Account Deficit and Foreign Direct Investments are not as easy as the FII flows are due to scores of roadblocks to the investments and instability in national politics and India’s foreign policy.

 

Inflation always Remained High in India and Now Needs Government Intervention Plus Tighter Monetary Policy from RBI’s Side. 

Now, in our research lab, we have analyzed the inflation problem. Look at the GDP Deflator and the WPI Inflation rate – how these trend lines have emerged over the past six fiscal years. GDP deflator is one of the other important tools to measure inflation, and it show, the inflation problem was relentlessly haunting the Indian economy. The most significant discovery is, the RBI loosened the policy rates during FY08, when India faced the condition of deflation due to change in the base year and was not reflecting the correct picture. However, GDP deflator remained at the alarming levels. At the same time, in FY09, RBI has raised the interest rates to prevent India to be a victim of the global financial crisis.

 

Here, we are not suggesting the RBI to track the GDP deflator, but to align its monetary policy to fix the “structured inflation problem”, caused by huge government borrowings, and at the same time, to make the economic growth sustainable and to refrain from the economic overheating. Plus to this, there is an urgent need of government intervention in terms of policies to overhaul the distribution of agricultural produce, to check the government borrowings and bringing down the fiscal deficit, which is now estimated at 5.6 percent until Feb, 2011 and 5.8 percent for FY2011. This will also subdue the prices.

 

 

Future of the Interest Rates in India

Rise in crude oil prices and other imported commodity price holes the Indian Economy up. It is one of the biggest risks to India since the country is not completely reliant on its own energy output and imports more than 70 percent of crude oil from GCC countries and other OPEC members. It’s expected that the global economic recovery would not stall but the pace will come down most importantly when the United States has stepped up its efforts to bring down the fiscal deficit to 4.1 percent by 2014. Nevertheless, the real economic output could remain under pressure due to the effect of increasing government debt. Since, we have focused on the final output (GDP) and it shows the prices of final produce in a particular financial year are increasing by more than 7.0 percent, whereas the WPI inflation is fluctuating throughout the discussed fiscal years. Provided herein is India’s stock of money or M3 for the last three fiscal years, which reverberates above 20 per cent. However, it is now falling significantly back to 15 per cent, and it shows the RBI’s action in policy rate is working, which means the monetary policy has a certain effect on the core inflation problem and would make an impact on the demand side but it is not sustainable as the government’s borrowing plans are on track.

 

 

 

 

Lower money supply has side effects too as it will increase the cost of credit further, and it will reduce the access to credit. Moreover, the stock markets could not function properly in this environment since the economic activity declines, which will eventually reduce the value of people’s retirement savings. However, the RBI has only one choice – tight monetary policy to tame inflation by giving up the India’s ambitions of double digit economic growth.

 

This VMW Research is originally published at UNIDOW.com

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(SA) Indian Economy 2009-10 Overview. Development in Economy Subsequent To The Recent Crisis.

High interest rates, inflation rate, trade deficit, fiscal deficit and depreciation of Rupee is expected in the next few months.

 

Recovery in Economy.VMW have researched on the global economy with the projection of contraction in the economy is expected in the first half of the year and will likely to see expansion in some of the economies. Germany and France, the largest and second largest economies of the European Union respectively and Japan, the largest economy of Asia has emerged from the recession after 5 quarters, and the United States is somewhat shy to come out of the recession and is expected to expand by the end of this year. The main drivers which might helped the economy, is the active response by the Government Authorities, in a way of announcing trillions of dollars in stimulus packages. Central banks around the world have poured in billions of dollars into the system to make credit market works and slashed interest rates to almost nil to impede the economy to go into deeper recession. With most of the indicators are now offering the sign of strength, however the wobbling unemployment and unsustainable government support to the economy would hamper the growth process. Amid the bleak environment in the global economy, GDP growth in developing economies are shrugging the outlook of their economic growth. With most of the economies were in melancholy, economies like India and China registered a growth rate of 6.7% and 9% respectively.

The immediate effect of the rebound in the global economy could be seen in the financial markets which have posted the spectacular gains in a short time. Since 2008 fallout, markets in India have been stabilized followed by the unprecedented victory in the recent elections, announcement of stimulus packages, and active response to the crisis by the central bank (RBI) which boosted market sentiment and anticipating greater reforms in the economy. In fact situation at the world level are also improving significantly. US economy in particular has offered strong signs of improvement in its economy and expunging the recession which begun in the last quarter of the year 2007.

India Economy Overview

In the above Chart, which is showing the India’s IIP, Inflation, Exports and Imports from Apr 2008 to Jun 2009. All trend lines are showing the sign of stability from falling which was started in 2008. Over the last six years, Indian Economy grew at an average rate of 8%, becomes one of the world’s largest economy. In 2007-08, Indian Economy posted a growth rate of 9%, though the economic growth has slumped due to recession in the west for the year 2008-09. Service sector will continue to outnumber the manufacturing sector and account for more than 53% of the total GDP, but still less than the advanced economies. According to the GDP data, IT export is on the rise and outpacing the overall growth of the sector.

Nasty Monsoon: This year’s deficient monsoon probably downgrade the overall economic growth as the Agriculture sector accounts for more than 18% of the total GDP. Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Punjab, and Haryana are the key farming locations of India. Almost scanty monsoon in Uttar Pradesh in particular will make a larger impact on India’s farm sector as the poor harvesting of Rice and Cane hit hard due to poor monsoon. Monsoon below average will make several kind of impact on India and other parts of the world. As India is the second largest producer of Rice and Sugarcane followed by the US and Brazil respectively, the commodity prices will go up, and according to the NYMEX data, the sugar prices soared by 62% since last year due to bad weather in India and the world had been affected by the food price crisis last year due to several reasons including poor harvesting due to drought situation and various other non-farm reasons.

Primarily, capital inflows into India has supported the sharp “V” shape recovery in the BSE’s benchmark index, Sensex. Indian equity markets perked up by more than 90% from its March 2009 lows (See given below figure). Foreign investments, positive growth outlook, consumer confidence, good corporate earnings, better reforms prospect might be a specific reason of overall growth in the financial markets. But, will the rally be sustainable over the next few months as the economy would not be grown as fast as we had expected earlier?

The global financial markets are trading at a reasonable value after sharp fall from the 2007 highs. From the beginning of this year, lot of money has poured into the markets around the world as the investors are optimistic about the economy. Developed economies would take more than two years to recover however the Asian economies will lead the overall economic recovery. Companies around the world has posted better than expected earnings in the last couple of quarters and showing the signs of recovery in their operations, nevertheless the growth in their earnings was ushered by cost cutting measures such as layoff and restructuring of their businesses. In general, their growth would be sustainable once the consumer confidence revives in the developed economies.

BSE Sensex

Unruly Supply-Side: Over the next few months, we will see the higher inflation due to supply side exertion. Supply side concern may include shortage of food grains, higher stock of money in the system due to spiralling government borrowings will doubtlessly push inflation on the higher side. We will expect the monetary action from Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in response to the microeconomic developments. Over the next few months, perhaps the Interest rates would go up in response to inoculate the economy from the risk of higher inflation and currency depreciation.

Economy in 2009-10: It would be bewilder that when we should expect the veritable recovery in the Indian Economy? Of course the Indian economy is not an exception and will go inline with the global economies. It will take a lot of time to recover however the situation has improved significantly and so far we have seen an extremely rapid movement in the economy. Moreover, the G-20 Summit, Pittsburgh in Sep 2009 will play a crucial role in the overall economic recovery as the global leaders were committed to monitor the situation and decision which were taken in G-20 Summit, London. However, we cannot expect the fresh stimulus packages from the Government Authorities to revive the economy.

Important Notice: VMW Research Team has marked this research as “Superannuated” and the content of this research is no longer in use in today’s economic context. However, certain references and inferences in this research can be use.  Continue reading

India Budget 2009 Review. Market Expectations Despaired.

 

 

GDP Growth

IIP Data

Budget for an Inclusive Growth

Much awaited Budget mainly for reforms, hike in FDI limit financial industry, deliverance of an inclusive growth in the ecocomy were finally delivered by the Finance Minister of India, Pranab Mukherjee. Some of us were very happy with the proposals made in the House while other got disappointment on various front. For sure, India’s economic growth has been impacted by the global economic problems and the recovery in the western economy specially in the US would play a critical role in a growth of the Indian economy. The rising fiscal deficit, expenditures are not only a single major concern for the economy but the significant rise in government borrowings also does matter for the future growth, which would affect the borrowing cost (refer to the given below figure).

India's Fiscal Deficit for FY 2008-09 of Annual GDP at Current Market Price.

India's Fiscal Deficit for FY 2008-09 of Annual GDP at Current Market Price.

 

There is no doubt that the debt level of the Indian Government likely to puff up due to higher spending. First look at the brief synopsis of Budget 2009.

  • Mr Finance Minister has agreed upon the real challenges to get back to sustainable 9% GDP growth.
  • Finance Minister stressed upon infrastructure development by providing long term financial assitance to infrastruture projects via India Infrastruture Finance Company Ltd (IIFCL).
  • Increases allocations for National Highway and Railways projects.
  • Extension of repayment period from Jun 2009 to Dec 2009 under the Debt relief Program 2008 to the farmers having acquired land more than two hectares.
  • Gov’t of India commitment on restoring growth in export sector.
  • To Initiate Institutional Reform measures from this year to fix the rising Fiscal Deficit.
  • To allocate Rs 39,400 crores ($8.16 Billion) to National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS).
  • Total expenditure of Rs. 1,020,838 Crores ($209.62 Billion) according to the Budget Estimates 2009-10.
  • Abolishment of Fringe Benefit Tax (FBT) and removal of Surcharge on Income Tax.
  • Changes in Direct Tax Code.
  • Implementation of Goods and Service Tax (GST) from 1st Apr 2010.
  • Revision in Minimum Alternate Tax (MAT) from 10% to 15%.

Since the inflation is no longer a concern for the economic growth, India needs to opt for a better policies and reforms to achieve the macroeconomic stability. Interest rates become more stable backed by the comfortable liquidity situation in the system which would be prudent for the constant growth of the economy and to be self reliant driven by the domestic demand. Forasmuch, India seeing the higher non plan spendings due to Subsidy burden, Sixth Central Pay Commission, and food subsidy which would be a troublesome for the government to restructure its finances. Savings rate at 59% of the anual GDP and massive foreign reserves assets will put the Indian ecconomy on reposeful position in the global arena (helps the Indian economy to abstain from the risk of revision in credit rating).

Finance Minister Mukherjee has commended the budget without giving further stress on the spending and even didn’t touch the revenue side largely in the wake of the macroeconomic health. Foreign Inflows will continue to drive the Indian economy higher in future but the lower exports will make the Balance of Payments (BOP) uneasy for the economy. The vast current account deficit will make the Indian currency more vulnerable in the near term against the US Dollar however it would be a short term pain and not a major concern to think upon. We’re expecting some bit of reduction in fiscal deficit in FY2009-10 due to diminution in subsidy burden including Oil bonds, food subsidy and we could see the beginning of economic reforms in the fiscal year 2009-10 Budget.

We would discuss more in our next report “Indian Economy in 2009-10 Overview”