India to be global growth leader in 2019-20: IMF

United Nations (IANS): The International Monetary Fund's (IMF) World Economic Outlook Update released by chief economist Gita Gopinath on Monday said that India's economy is expected to grow by 7.5 percent in the 2019-20 fiscal year, keeping an upward trajectory as the rest of the world slumps.

India will continue to be the world's fastest-growing major economy, the report said.

The IMF's flagship report said that India's growth was estimated to be 7.3 percent for the current fiscal year and forecast to rise to 7.7 percent in 2020-21.

"India's economy is poised to pick up in 2019, benefiting from lower oil prices and a slower pace of monetary tightening than previously expected, as inflation pressures ease," the report said.

At the launch of the report in Davos, Switzerland, Gopinath said: "The global expansion is weakening and at a rate that is somewhat faster than expected."

She said the update projects global growth at 3.5 percent in 2019, a downward revision of 0.2 percent from the October report, and 3.6 percent in 2020, a reduction of 0.1 percent.

"We believe the risks to more significant downward corrections are rising."

However, she also said, "While this does not mean we are staring at a major downturn, it is important to take stock of the many rising risks."

Gopinath, a former adviser to the Kerala government and highly regarded professor at Harvard University, took over as the chief economist of the IMF in January, becoming the first woman to hold the key post in global economic policy-making.

She blamed the trade tensions and worsening financial conditions for the bleak outlook. "Higher trade uncertainty will further dampen investment and disrupt global supply chains," she said.

The IMF saw China's growth slipping from 6.6 percent last year to 6.2 percent this year.

The World Bank's projections published earlier this month for India's growth in the current and next fiscal years match those of the IMF, but is lower at 7.5 percent for 2020-21.

(Story by Arul Louis)

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