The Reserve Bank today said the economy is likely to grow at 5.5 per cent in the current fiscal as it sees pick-up in manufacturing and investment. "Signs of improvement in mining and manufacturing activity, expected pick-up in investments, improved availability of financial resources to the private sector with lower draft of government on financial savings of the households amid fiscal consolidation, improved external demand and stabilising global commodity prices are expected to support the recovery.
"Accordingly, the economy could grow in the range of 5.5 to 6 per cent this fiscal," the RBI said in its annual report for 2013-14. The central bank, however, warned that the downside risks to growth could play out if global recovery slows, geopolitical tensions intensify or monsoon weakens again in the rest of the season. The Economic Survey 2013-14 has projected a growth of 5.4 to 5.9 per cent in 2014-15.
As of August 13, the all India cumulative rainfall deficiency in the current monsoon season was placed at 18 per cent of the long period average (LPA) as against an excess of 12 per cent in the year-ago period. The monsoon has improved since mid-July when the deficiency was 43 per cent.The report said even if rainfall is normal in the rest of the monsoon season, some rainfall deficiency will stay.
The RBI said its inflation outlook remains unchanged from the baseline inflation trajectory it had indicated at the beginning of the year, when it committed to disinflationary glide path of taking consumer price index (CPI) inflation to 8 per cent by January 2015. After remaining above 8 per cent in April and May, retail inflation moderated to 7.5 per cent in June mainly due to favourable base effect.
However, CPI increased to 8 per cent in July as prices of vegetables increased substantially on the back of deficient monsoon rainfall. "Recent increase in inflation driven by vegetable price spike could be temporary as there are early indications that the price corrections are underway," the RBI said.