The global macroeconomic landscape is currently chartering a rough and uncertain terrain characterized by weak growth of world output. The situation has been exacerbated by;
(i) declining prices of a number of commodities, with reduction in crude oil prices being the most visible of them,
(ii) turbulent fnancial markets (more so equity markets), and
(iii) volatile exchange rates.
These conditions refect extreme risk-aversion behaviour of global investors, thus putting many, and in particular, commodities exporting economies under considerable stress.
Even in these trying and uncertain circumstances, India’s growth story has largely remained positive on the strength of domestic absorption, and the country has registered a robust and steady pace of economic growth in 2015-16 as it did in 2014-15. Additionally, its other macroeconomic parameters like infation, fscal defcit and current account balance have exhibited distinct signs of improvement. Wholesale price infation has been in negative territory for more than a year and the all-important consumer prices infation has declined to nearly half of what it was a few years ago.
However, weak growth in advanced and emerging economies has taken its toll on India’s exports. As imports have also declined, principally on account of reduced prices of crude oil for which the country is heavily dependent on imports, trade and current account defcits continue to be moderate. Growth in agriculture has slackened due to two successive years of less-than-normal monsoon rains. Saving and investment rates are showing hardly any signs of revival. The rupee has depreciated vis-à-vis the US dollar, like most other currencies in the world, although less so in magnitude. At the same time, it has appreciated against a number of other major currencies. Given the fact that the government is committed to carrying the reform process forward, aided by the prevailing macroeconomic stability, it appears that conditions do exist for raising the economy’s growth momentum and achieving growth rates of 8 per cent or higher in the next couple of years.