India’s latest Economy Outlook to be tabled Wednesday

August 11th, 2008 - 6:33 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh

New Delhi, Aug 11 (IANS) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s Economic Advisory Council (EAC) will present India’s ‘Economic Outlook 2008-09′ Wednesday, making projections on where the economy is headed against the backdrop of rising inflation. C. Rangarajan, who resigned as chairman of EAC Friday, along with his successor Suresh Tendulkar and other members, will release the much-awaited report.

The report, in the form of projections for different sectors, gives an account of the country’s economy and factors “accelerating or decelerating” growth.

The EAC had predicted 9 percent growth rate for economy in 2007-08. This has turned out to be correct.

Rangarajan, a former governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), has projected an economic growth rate at 7.5-8 percent in the current fiscal.

Tendulkar, who is likely to take charge of EAC chairman Wednesday, told IANS that he was “bullish” about the growth prospects of India’s economy.

“I expect the Indian economy continue to grow at a fast pace. I am not just hopeful, I am quite bullish. A 7-8 percent sustained growth is not only respectable but also unprecedented,” Tendulkar said.

Official sources said that EAC might moderate the gross domestic product (GDP) between 7.5 percent and 8 percent from 8.5 percent, inflation slowing down to 8-9 percent by the end of 2008-09.

Rangarajan Aug 4 had said inflation could ease down to 8-9 percent by next March.

“Perhaps to look at an inflation rate of 8-9 percent will be a difficult thing in the current scenario, but probably we will do it by March 2009,” Rangarajan told reporters on the sidelines of a book launch here Monday.

He, however, said moderation in inflation would be possible only if global crude oil prices did not rise above the current level.

Brent crude is being traded at around $115 a barrel, in contrast to $147 per barrel July 11.

India’s annual rate of inflation touched an all-time high of 11.98 percent for the week ended July 19.

Rangarajan said the GDP growth rate of the country is likely to slow down and will not be able to touch 9 percent. He attributed the slowdown to “various external and domestic factors”.

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