‘Covid 2.0 brought India back to square one’, Crisil cuts growth forecast

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New Delhi, June 7 (IANS) With the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic crippling economic activities across the country, Crisil Research has lowered India’s growth forecast in line with the other agencies, stating that the second wave has brought the Indian economy back to square one.
Accordingly, it has revised its projection by 150 basis points to 9.5 per cent for the 2021-22 financial year.
“Back to square one. India’s GDP bounced back to the pre-pandemic level by the fourth quarter of the last fiscal, after a sharp contraction in the first quarter. However, the second wave has likely erased those gains in the first quarter of this fiscal,” it said.
Crisil said that the second Covid wave has thrown cold water over the Indian economy that was beginning to warm up after witnessing the most severe contraction since Independence.
Noting that the daily Covid cases seem to have peaked for now, though they remain above the peak of the first wave, the report said that the risks of another wave and tardy vaccination mean that the states would be wary of fully unlocking anytime soon.
“That is unlike what we saw last fiscal, when a largely uniform and calibrated reopening spurred quite a sharp recovery. Consequently, Crisil is lowering its gross domestic product (GDP) growth forecast for India to 9.5 per cent for the current fiscal, compared to 11 per cent expected earlier,” it said.
Crisil said that the downward revision is premised on the clearly evident hit to the two engines of growth — private consumption and investment — by the second wave of the pandemic.

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