The cabinet meeting on the evening of March 31 to address the issue of inflation could well set the tone for financial year 2008-09 that begins today. Most analysts and experts see economic growth slowing, inflation rising, and the stock markets continuing to remain volatile. The government and the Reserve Bank of India expect GDP growth in 2008-09 to be around 8%, wholesale inflation for the year to average out at 4.5%, and exports to grow by 29%. And analysts predict that lending rates could increase, the rupee appreciate to between 38.50 and 39 to the dollar, and the Sensex, the benchmark index of the Bombay Stock Exchange, to swing between 15,000 and 22,000. The only consensus has to do with gold: everyone expects the price of the yellow metal to continue to rise.
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