MUMBAI, India, April 24, 2024 -- The Economy Observer report presents Dun & Bradstreet's projections for critical economic indicators, accompanied by commentary and insights into the most recent economic trends. As a worldwide provider of business decisioning data and analytics, Dun & Bradstreet combines global data with local expertise to helps clients make smarter decisions.



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Key economic forecast:


Real Economy: We expect Index of Industrial Activity (IIP) to have registered a robust growth in March 2024 driven by construction-related activities, election-related expenditures, and resiliency in demand, both domestic and exports. Notably, non-oil exports recorded an 8% growth in March 2024, a significant positive amidst the Red Sea crisis. Dun & Bradstreet expects the IIP to have grown by 5.0% in March 2024.


Price Scenario: Even as the retail inflation has moderated recently driven largely by the moderation in the miscellaneous/services inflation, the escalation of conflict in West Asia poses threat to retail inflation (CPI) in India. Besides, the stickiness in the food inflation would impact a downward threshold to the headline inflation The wholesale inflation (WPI) is also expected to inch upwards. Dun & Bradstreet expects the Consumer Price Inflation (CPI) to be 4.3% and Wholesale Price Inflation (WPI) to be around 0.5% in April 2024.


Money & Finance: Even as retail inflation has edged down, the recent upward risk to inflation and receding bets of an early US Fed rate cut to likely further postpone policy rate cut in India. The hardening of the US 10-year US Treasury and heightened geopolitical tensions are expected to keep yields elevated in April 2024 in line with the level witnessed in March 2024. The short-term yield is expected to moderate in April 2024 owing to surplus liquidity in the banking system. Dun & Bradstreet anticipates the 10-year G-Sec yield to be around 7.1% in April 2024, while we expect the 15-91-day Treasury Bills yield to remain at around 6.85%.


External Sector: Rupee is expected to turn bearish and depreciate during April and May 2024 due to concerns regarding surge in oil prices stemming from heightened instability in the Middle East. Another key risk to rupee lies in the potential postponement of the Fed's rate-cutting trajectory. Given the uptick in inflation in the US and resilient growth, the Fed might delay its rate-cutting measures, consequently bolstering the dollar in the short term. Dun & Bradstreet expects the rupee to depreciate to 83.4 per US$ in April 2024 and further depreciate to 83.6 per US$ in May 2024.


Dr Arun Singh, Global Chief Economist, Dun & Bradstreet said, "The persistent stickiness in food inflation is preventing headline inflation from falling within the RBI's 2-4% tolerance band. Moreover, the escalating tensions in Middle East could delay rate cuts until late 2024. If conflict arises, it may disrupt the vital trade route leading to a surge in global crude oil prices thereby impacting India's imported inflation. The deteriorating global supply chain, as indicated by the 8% negative growth recorded by the Dun & Bradstreet Global supply Chain Index in Q2 2024, has potential to further disrupt trade impacting commodity prices".


Dun & Bradstreet's Economy Observer Forecast


Variables


Forecast


Latest Period


Previous period


IIP Growth


5.0% March-24


5.7% February-24


4.1% January-24


WPI Inflation


0.5% April-24


0.53% March-24


0.2% February-24


CPI (Combined) Inflation


4.3% April-24


4.85% March-24


5.09% February-24


Exchange Rate (INR/US$)


83.6 May-24


83.4 April-24


83.0 March-24


15-91 day's T-Bills


6.85% April-24


6.93% March-24


7.03% February-24


10-year G-Sec yield


7.1% April-24


7.07% March-24


7.09% February-24


Bank Credit


20.4% April-24


20.2% March-24


20.5% February-24


 


About Dun & Bradstreet:


Dun & Bradstreet, a leading global provider of business decisioning data and analytics, enables companies around the world to improve their business performance. Dun & Bradstreet's Data Cloud fuels solutions and delivers insights that empower customers to accelerate revenue, lower cost, mitigate risk and transform their businesses. Since 1841, companies of every size have relied on Dun & Bradstreet to help them manage risk and reveal opportunity. For more information on Dun & Bradstreet, please visit www.dnb.com.


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