First time in FY20, credit growth enters single-digit lane as slump spreads

Reflecting the deepening economic crisis arising from both structural and cyclical issues and a massive fall in consumption demand, bank credit growth rate, for the first time this fiscal, slowed to single digit at 8.8 percent to Rs 97.71 trillion during the fortnight to September 27, according the Reserve Bank of India data.

In the first fortnight of the fiscal ending April 12, the credit demand grew 14.19 percent after closing the previous fiscal at 13.24 percent.

Throughout this fiscal so far, credit growth has been in the low-double-digit.

On Thursday, global rating agency Moody's slashed its GDP growth forecast to 5.8 percent from 6.2 percent earlier.

The downward revision came in after the first quarter GDP printed at a six-year low of 5 percent forcing a "surprised" RBI to massively slash its forecast by a full 80 bps to 6.1 percent within a span of just two months and by 140 bps from its April forecast.

Since the Q1 GDP, there has not been any positive data coming out, barring inflation, which remains tamed. Be it IIP numbers or exports or core sector data, everything has been heading south month after month.

On top of it, tax collections, both direct and direct, have also been sprinting down. While income tax collection during the first half just inched up 5 percent against a budgeted estimate of 17.5 percent, the all important GST collection has never touched the desired Rs 1-lakh-crore-mark barring in April.

Amidst all these negative news flows, the government has given away as much as Rs 1.45 lakh crore to the corporates by way of a massive reduction in corporate tax rates with retrospective effect from April 1, putting a big question mark on the government ability to meet the fiscal deficit targets of 3.3 percent.

Slashing the growth forecast, Moody's said the economy is experiencing a pronounced slowdown which is partly related to long-lasting factors.

New IMF Kristalina Georgieva earlier this week opined that India is experiencing "more pronounced" effect of the global downturn.

Credit demand has slowed to single digit as the mainstay of banks-personal loans and demand from services sector lost their momentum.

While credit growth rate to the services sector more than halved to 13.3 percent in August from 26.7 per cent a year ago, personal loans growth also moderated to 15.6 percent in August from 18.2 percent in August 2018.

The only silver lining was demand from the industry, which more than doubled to 3.9 percent in August from 1.9 percent in August 2018.

In the fortnight to September 27, deposits growth too slowed to 9.38 percent to Rs 129.06 lakh crore from Rs 118 lakh crore a year ago.

On annualized basis, non-food credit growth decelerated to 9.8 percent in August 2019 from 12.4 percent in August 2018.

Loans to agriculture & allied activities increased 6.8 percent in August compared to an increase of 6.6 percent last year same month.

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