“Rising demand and falling infection rates have tempered our expectation of COVID’s hit on the Indian economy. S&P Global Ratings has revised real GDP growth to negative 7.7 per cent for the year ending March 2021, from negative 9 per cent previously,” S&P said in a statement.
The US-based rating agency said its revision in growth forecast reflects a faster-than-expected recovery in the quarter through September. For the next fiscal, it projected India’s growth to rebound to 10 per cent.
India’s gross domestic product fell 7.5 per cent in the July-September quarter, against a contraction of 23.9 per cent in the April-June quarter.
S&P said India is learning to live with the virus, even though the pandemic is far from defeated and reported cases have fallen by more than half from peak levels, to about 40,000 per day. The feared resurgence following the recent holiday season has yet to materialise.
“It is no surprise that India is following the path of most economies across Asia-Pacific in experiencing a faster-than-expected recovery in manufacturing production,” S&P Global Ratings Asia-Pacific chief economist Shaun Roache said.
Manufacturing output was about 3.5 per cent higher in October 2020, compared to the year-ago period, while the output of consumer durables rose by almost 18 per cent.
“This recovery underscores one of the more striking aspects of the COVID-19 shock — the resilience of manufacturing supply chains. Again, as with demand, some slowing of output momentum has emerged more recently,” S&P said.
Earlier this week, Fitch had revised its growth forecast for India to (-) 9.4 per cent, from (-) 10.5 per cent on signs of economic revival.