India likely to be fastest growing economy globally in 2024: Experts
Moderate inflation rate, stable interest rate regime and growing demand keep growth curve of India ahead
India decisively withstood global headwinds in 2023 and is likely to remain as the world's fastest-growing major economy on the back of growing demand, moderate inflation, stable interest rate regime and robust foreign exchange reserves.
Despite widespread pessimism witnessed among the developed nations and the worsening geopolitical situation, India recorded a gross domestic product (GDP) expansion of 6.1% in the March quarter. The growth moved up to 7.8% in the June quarter and was 7.6% in the September quarter.
For the first six months of this fiscal, the growth was 7.7%.
The growth momentum is expected to sustain in the December quarter, making India the fastest-growing major economy in the world much ahead of China.
According to the latest growth projections of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), which appear conservative, India will record a growth of 6.3% in 2023, ahead of China and Brazil at 5.2% and 3%, respectively.
For 2024, the OECD expects India to grow at 6.1% and China at 4.7%.
On the other hand, major economies, including the US, UK and Japan, are likely to witness either deceleration or very nominal increase in economic growth rates in the coming year.
India's performance on the economic front in 2023 appears even better when viewed from a global perspective.
As per the International Monetary Fund's (IMF) World Economic Outlook, global growth is estimated to decelerate from 3.5% in 2022 to 3%in 2023 and further to 2.9% in 2024.
Ashima Goyal, Member of the Reserve Bank of India's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), said India's growth has "shown great resilience despite many external shocks. This is due to increasing economic diversity and the role of policy in smoothing shocks".
Equipping people with better skills and assets, she said, "will add up to give India good growth in 2024 and beyond".
Dharmakirti Joshi, Chief Economist at rating agency Crisil, said geopolitical developments will again test the resilience of India's domestic demand in the coming year.
"We expect the GDP to grow at 6.4$ in the coming fiscal year, a tad lower than the current one. The lagged impact of interest rate hikes and the global slowdown will be the key drags," he noted.
A recent article on the state of the economy by the RBI said, "Despite significant global headwinds, the Indian economy remained the fastest growing major economy in 2023. The outlook is one of cautious optimism as consumer confidence remains positive and perceptions about current income turned up in the RBI's latest survey of households in November 2023".