Economist is predicting a weak rupee

Economist is too respected a magazine to ignore. It also takes a balanced view of things. Many times they are right, sometimes of course, they could be wrong. Here I am reproducing a part of an article where they have spoken about India. Here, the quote starts, the highlighting is mine.

“This year foreign capital has gone into reverse at the same time as India’s current-account deficit has widened sharply. Sharmila Whelan, an economist at CLSA, a brokerage firm, forecasts that India’s current-account deficit will rise to almost 4% of GDP in the current fiscal year, and to 5.5% next year. Not only is the trade deficit soaring, largely as a result of higher oil prices; the overseas earnings of Indian IT services companies (two-fifths of which come from the financial sector) are likely to shrink this year.

The nature of the capital inflows financing a deficit also matters. Foreign direct investment (FDI) is less volatile than speculative capital inflows. If we assume that net FDI continues at last year’s pace, then it would more than finance the expected current-account deficits in Brazil and Mexico this year. In contrast, net FDI might finance less than one-third of India’s deficit and only one-sixth of South Africa’s, implying that their currencies are more at risk. The rupee has fallen by almost 10% against the dollar since late last year. Ms Whelan forecasts that it will drop by another 9% by March 2009.”

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