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Indian economy projected to contract 11.8% year-on-year, Fitch domestic arm says

FILE PHOTO: A labourer sleeps on sacks as traffic moves past him in a wholesale market in the old quarters of Delhi, India, January 7, 2020. REUTERS/Anushree Fadnavis

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India’s economy is projected to contract 11.8% on the year in the current fiscal year beginning from April, before bouncing back in the next fiscal year, India Ratings and Research, a domestic arm of ratings agency Fitch, said on Tuesday.

“All indicators, be it mobility or consumption, are pointing towards a much weaker economic recovery,” Sunil Kumar Sinha, its principal economist told an online conference.

The economy is projected to contract 11.9% in the current quarter, followed by a contraction of 6.7% in the December quarter and 5.4% in the subsequent quarter, Sinha said, citing the adverse impact of coronavirus pandemic.

Earlier, India Ratings had projected the economy would contract 5.3% in the current fiscal year, versus growth of 4.2% in the previous year.

While a second wave of infections sweeps the globe, India has not yet managed to flatten the first wave, he said.

Its economy shrank 23.9% in the quarter from April to June, much more than forecast, in a sign that recovery could be longer than expected, with analysts urging further stimulus.

On Monday, India surpassed Brazil as the nation with the largest number of infections outside the United States, with a tally of 4.28 million.

India Ratings projected the federal fiscal deficit to rise to 8.2% of GDP, propelled by an economic contraction and greater government spending to mitigate the pandemic effects, versus 4.6% in the previous fiscal year.

Reporting by Manoj Kumar; Editing by Clarence Fernandez

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