Exposure to external shocks greatest challenge facing Indian economy: Moody’s poll

Monday, Jan 25, 2016,12:04 IST By metrovaartha A A A

New Delhi | The greatest challenge facing the Indian economy is exposure to external shocks such as interest rate hike in the US and slowdown in China, and the risk has risen since last year, a Moody’s poll said Monday.

About 75 per cent of the market players and investors polled expect India’s economic growth to be in the range of 6.5-7.5 per cent over the next 12-18 months.

The findings were part of the poll of 110 market participants, including some of India’s largest investors, intermediaries and issuers, conducted by Moody’s Investors Service earlier this month.

Of those polled, 35 per cent saw external shocks as the greatest challenge facing the economy, up from just 10 per cent in the previous May 2015 poll.

In contrast, 32 per cent felt there is a sluggish reform momentum and 19 per cent saw infrastructure constraints, down from 47 per cent and 38 per cent, respectively, in May 2015.

The consensus view on India’s economic growth prospects appears reasonably upbeat. Over three quarters of the market participants we polled believe that headline GDP growth will remain in a range of 6.5-7.5 per cent over the next 12-18 months, Moody’s said in its report titled ‘Heard From the Market: India Not Immune to External Risks’.

Compared with the last poll in May 2015, only 14 per cent of participants now expect growth to accelerate to between 7.5-8.5 per cent, down from 36 per cent previously.

Despite our audience’s reasonably positive views on headline growth, we have seen a shift in the balance of risks to India’s macroeconomic outlook, Moody’s said.

The market participants surveyed are increasingly concerned about the potential spillover of external risks such as US interest rate tightening and China’s ongoing slowdown, on India’s growth story.
Moody’s said India is still regarded as much better placed than most of its similarly rated emerging market peers.

Increased concerns about external shocks appear to reflect a more adverse global backdrop rather than India-specific external vulnerabilities having increased, it added.

As for revival of private sector investment, Moody’s suggested that the government should take key reform initiatives and pass GST and land acquisition laws.

The successful passage and implementation of the government’s reform agenda will be an important driver of the fortunes of both India’s investment cycle and corporate credit quality. To date, the Modi administration’s track record on reform has been mixed, with some signs of a loss of momentum in the latter stages of 2015, it said.

In November 2015, Moody’s had changed the outlook on India’s banking system to ‘stable’ from ‘negative’ on expectations that a gradually improving operating environment will result in a slower pace of problem loan creation and, as a result, the credit metrics will gradually stabilise.