Monday, March 23, 2009

Business Expectations in India

Dr. Alamgir, thank for your comments and encouragement. We completely agree with your view on the “Signs of Recovery?” and hence the question mark. A see-saw ride is indeed the most apt description of what the Indian economy is likely to experience in the next 2 quarters at least. We do hope that investment projects will pick up once the new Government is in place. If the increased Rural demand is sustained then it would be an additional boon. Here are some survey based reports on business expectations in India. The corporate sector expects the period of downturn in the Indian economy to continue till May 2010 before bouncing back in response to the fiscal and monetary policy stimulus and abatement of recession in the international economy, an ASSOCHAM Business Barometer (ABB) Survey of 237 CEOs has revealed. The ABB Survey “Economic Outlook for India” was based on the responses from 237 CEOs and Managing Directors across fifteen sectors at small, medium and large scale level companies. The survey was done during the month of February. In the ABB Survey, 84 per cent of the CEOs polled across various business segments were unanimous about the view that poor Business Confidence in India may extend till the middle of the next year. Around 77 per cent of the industry heads believed that the growth rebound would be faster and sooner in India than the developed economies of US and Europe. In its 12th Annual Global CEO Survey, PWC said confidence of CEOs had plunged to its lowest level since 2003, when PWC began tracking CEOs' forecasts. Worldwide, just 21 per cent of CEOs said they were very confident of revenue growth in the next 12 months, down from 50 per cent in last year's survey. And more than a quarter of CEOs said they were pessimistic about prospects for the coming year. However, the business in India painted a contrasting picture with 70 per cent Indian CEOs expressing confidence about both short term and long term revenue growth, compared to 21 per cent and 34 per cent globally. India has recorded the highest CEO confidence levels amongst the emerging economies, and is also one of only two countries globally which are as confident about short term revenue growth as about long term revenue growth. Despite the global economic downturn affecting even the emerging economies, Indian CEOs continue to be very optimistic. India's economic growth is seen slowing to 5.5 percent in 2009/10 from an estimated 6.8 percent in the current fiscal year ending in March, Citigroup said in a recent note. However, it expects policy measures and lower commodity prices to set the stage for a pickup in 2010/11.
* Growth could decelerate due to contraction in exports, single-digit investment growth and moderation in consumption.
* Inflation could see a "negative patch" during June and September, and should average 3 percent in 2009/10, compared with 9 percent this fiscal.
* Citigroup said it expects an additional 100-150 basis points easing in interest rates in 2009/10 on the back of benign inflation and limited fiscal space and the continuation of indirect fiscal measures as the country's high fiscal deficit limits the scope for a direct fiscal stimulus.

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