You know the world economy is really in a slowdown, when even India has to lower its economic forecast. Citing weak global demand and lower farm output, India on Friday cut its growth forecast for the fiscal year ending March 2016 to between 7% and 7.5%, a significant drop from the 8.1% to 8.5% growth predicted in February.
Even with the lowered estimate, India continues to top China and remains the fastest growing major economy in the world. On Wednesday, the People’s Bank of China forecast real gross domestic product growth would increase 6.9% this year and grow 6.8% in 2016.
India’s government said weak corporate spending, tepid global demand and two successive droughts that have hit farm output has hurt the growth. It added that Asia’s third-largest economy probably wouldn’t see a significant uptick unless pending tax and financial sector reforms were carried out.
Profit growth at India’s top companies was the slowest in two-and-a-half years for the quarter ending in September, reported Reuters, hampering efforts to cut debt in one of Asia’s most leveraged corporate sectors.
Slowing profit growth is weighing on corporate spending as companies are utilizing the majority of their operating profit to service interest costs.
The government offered no hope for a quick turnaround in corporate balance sheets, which it expects to recover slowly and remain a drag on fresh capital investment, said Reuters.