Indian economy is facing stagflation, says Moody’s

Global financial services firm Moody’s today said Indian economy is facing stagflation, where growth is slow and inflation high, and cautioned that the Reserve Bank cannot be too aggressive in cutting interest rates.

“India’s economy is in stagflation, with notably weaker growth but inflation still stubbornly high,” said Glenn Levine, Senior Economist, Moody’s Analytics.

Amid wholesale price-based inflation ticking up to 7.5 percent year-on-year in May due to supply-side factors, the agency said it will cause further “headaches” at the RBI.

“Yet with the inflation numbers now being driven by supply-side factors, and with the currency being pushed downwards…and India’s weaker growth prospects, we think that the RBI could cut rates without it putting too much upward pressure on inflation,” said Moody’s Analytics.

However, it said the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) cannot be “too aggressive” while inflation remains a problem.

The RBI is scheduled to review mid-quarter monetary policy on 18 June.

Moody’s said the recent plunge in the rupee is pushing up the price, especially import of goods and commodities priced in US dollar.

It further said with the rupee now sitting 15 percent below its peak of late-February, this will ensure that WPI inflation remains in the 7 percent to 8 percent range for another six months.

“Indeed, with the growth side of the economy slowing, the risks have shifted sharply towards growth and they (the RBI and other policy makers) should just grin and bear the higher inflation numbers,” it added.

Stagflation is a situation when economic growth of a country stagnates while inflation is rising.

Moody’s Analytics is a part of Moody’s Corp that provides expertise in economic and consumer credit analysis, credit research and risk measurement, among others.

(curtsey : first post)

Rupesh Yatesh Dalal
Head Research Department

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