Leading brokerage Credit Suisse today lowered its forecast for India's gross domestic product (GDP) growth in the current financial year to 5.3 per cent from 5.7 per cent earlier due to "ongoing aggressive" fiscal tightening.
"The ongoing aggressive fiscal tightening, equivalent to more than 1 per cent of GDP in the current fiscal, and another likely squeeze in the order of 0.25-0.50 per cent of GDP next fiscal...This larger than previously expected fiscal tightening has, however, led us to further reduce our GDP growth forecasts for the current fiscal to 5.3 per cent and to 6.7 per cent for next fiscal," Credit Suisse research analyst, Robert Prior-Wandesforde said in a note.
Credit Suisse had earlier estimated that India's GDP will grow at 6.9 per cent rate in the next financial year. He further said that these projections are comfortably above the consensus estimates and that he continues to expect a 7.5 per cent average GDP reading for FY15.
The Central Statistical Organisation had last week pegged the GDP growth for the year at a decadal low of 5 per cent, the lowest since FY02 when the readings came in at a poor 4.7 per cent.
He also said that this will further encourage the RBI to cut lending rates and the ratings agencies to leave the sovereign rating unchanged.
"No doubt the government will also be hoping that a Budget incorporating credible tightening measures will persuade the rating agencies to maintain India as an investment grade credit, while encouraging the RBI to cut interest rates further. And therefore, we anticipate another 100 bps in repo rates by the end of calendar 2013," Mr Prior-Wandesforde said.
He is also bullish on the bonds saying "we expect the Budget to be bullish for the local currency sovereign bond market and that 7.5 per cent 10-year yield during the March quarter followed by a period of consolidation".
The report is expecting fresh net bond issuance to the tune of Rs 4.7 lakh crore next fiscal year.
On his Budget expectations, Mr Prior-Wandesforde said: "We expect Finance Minister P Chidambaram to err on the side of prudence, incorporating a modest tightening of the underlying fiscal stance after a bigger squeeze this fiscal. In short, fiscal prudence will be the key of this Budget."
The Finance Minister had already made it clear that he would cap fiscal deficit at 5.3 per cent this fiscal year and aim for a further improvement at 4.8 per cent next fiscal year.
"Notwithstanding the fact that Budget will be the last before the next general elections, we have little reason to doubt Chidambaram's willingness and ability to achieve these goals," he said.