Mumbai: India’s economy should emerge from its downturn soon, a poll of chief executives of 31 companies by a newspaper showed on Thursday.
All but 10 out of the 31 chief executives polled believe that India has seen off the economic slowdown, raising hopes the new government will inherit an economy that is on the mend, The Economic Times daily, said.
“I think the worst is behind us,” the paper quoted Kumar Mangalam Birla, chairman, Aditya Birla Group, said.
The central bank, which expects economic growth to slide in the 2009/10 fiscal year to its weakest in seven years at 6%, has lowered the repo rate, its short-term lending rate, by 425 basis points since October to bolster economic activity.
“There are visible signs of a pickup in the manufacturing sector. With lower interest rates, strong rural demand and a normal monsoon projected, the slowdown could gradually be behind us, except for some export-intensive sectors,” SK Roongta, chairman of Steel Authority of India Ltd, said.
In its annual monetary policy last month, the central bank lowered its repo rate by 25 basis points to 4.75%, and the reverse repo rate at which it absorbs excess cash from banks by an identical proportion to 3.25%.
Results of India’s month-long general election are due on Saturday. Polling ended on Wednesday and exit polls showed the ruling Congress-led coalition leading the opposition Hindu-nationalist alliance, but lacking a majority.