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NEW DELHI: Rating agency Standard & Poor’s (S&P) on Friday highlighted India’s growth prospects in the coming years even as it kept its sovereign ratings unchanged at ‘BBB-minus’ with a ‘stable’ outlook.
The global ratings agency said that India’s stable outlook reflects that growth will remain strong over the next two years and the country will maintain sound external accounts position, among others.
Here are the key takeways from the agency’s ratings:
1. S&P said it welcomed the government reforms, including the GST rollout and a planned Rs 2.11 lakh crore ($32 billion) capital infusion into its struggling PSU banks, while predicting the country’s economy would “grow robustly” in 2018-2020.
2. It said one-off factors like the GST, hailed as biggest tax reform in the country, and demonetisation have led to some quarterly cooling in the high growth figures but the medium-term outlook for growth remains favourable.
3. The growth outlook is supported by rising private consumption, an ambitious public infrastructure investment programme and a bank restructuring plan that should help revive investment.
4. Public sector-led infrastructure investment, notably in road and rail sectors, will also stimulate economic activity while private consumption will remain robust.
5. S&P said the Narendra Modi government has managed to pass a number of reforms to address long-standing impediments to the country’s growth.
6. India’s growth, it said, is among the fastest of all investment-grade sovereigns, and projected real GDP expansion to average 7.6 per cent over 2017-2020.
S&P ratings comes days after Moody’s Investors Service raised India’s sovereign rating for the first time in over 13 years on growth prospects boosted by continued economic and institutional reforms.
Elaborating on S&P maintaining status quo in its ratings, economic affairs secretary Subhash Chandra Garg said the agency chose to play cautious and hoped that the reforms will reflect in a ratings upgrade next year.
(With inputs from agencies)