From double-digit to zero per cent growth: how India’s economic future looks bleaker than ever before, if only you can remove your blinkers

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The Economic Survey, released a day before Nirmala Sitharaman presented the Union Budget on February 1, had projected a GDP growth of 6-6.5%, up from 5% estimated for 2019-20.

The #Coronavirus pandemic and the continuing “lockdown” has thrown that prediction, which was unrealistic to start with, totally out of gear.

So much so that none of the ratings agencies predict India will reach even half that level.

Barclays has cut its growth forecast to 0% from its earlier projection of 2.5%.

Capital Economics forecasts India will grow at just 1%, lowest in 4 decades.

World Bank has scaled down its projection to 1.5-2.8% from 6.1%.

Fitch ratings predicts a 30-year low of 2%, from 5.1% it had projected earlier.

Moody’s predicts it will be 2.5%, from an earlier estimate of 5.3%.

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Only two agencies have numbers that are even close to the Economic Survey.

S&P Global Ratings predicts 5.2% from its earlier estimate of 6.5%.

UN Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) 2020: 4.8%

China is expected to grow at 3.3%.

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All numbers are relative and all numbers must be taken with a pound of salt.

Still, as economic activity grinds to a halt, as Indians light lamps and bang thaalis, the future looks bleaker than ever.