8,660.2518.8
Stock Analysis, IPO, Mutual Funds, Bonds & More

India’s savings rate plunges to 15-year low

Household savings also declined as consumers spent more in purchasing durables and travelling.

, ET Bureau|
Last Updated: Feb 19, 2020, 07.43 AM IST
0Comments
Getty Images
down-getty
Economists also attribute the current slowdown in the economy partly to the fall in the savings rate.
Mumbai: India’s slowing economy took a toll on much-needed savings too, with the savings rate touching a 15-year low, and household savings also falling. This has weakened India’s macro-economic position which is already hobbled by low investment and rising external borrowing to fund capital needs.

Household savings also declined as consumers spent more in purchasing durables and travelling. Indian households contribute to about 60 per cent of the country’s savings. But India remains favourable compared to emerging market peers such as Brazil.

“If the country wants high sustainable growth, it must raise the investment rate. But investment needs funding,” said Pranjul Bhandari, chief India economist at HSBC. “If domestic savings are falling, the government is right to tap into foreign savings.”

India’s gross savings fell to 30.1 per cent of the gross domestic product in fiscal 2019 from 34.6 per cent in fiscal 2012, and 36 per cent in 2007-08, data from the Central Statistical Organisation shows. The previous low was 29 per cent in 2003-2004. As a per cent of GDP, household savings fell from 23 per cent in 2012, to 18 per cent last year.

A falling savings rate could lead to Indian companies ending up borrowing more from overseas markets, weakening India’s external position as it would raise the nation’s external debt.

“In order to raise investments at a time when savings are falling, the current account balance will have to fall or the current account deficit will have to widen, needing more foreign inflows for funding,” Bhandari said.

India’s external borrowing last fiscal rose to $543 billion, from $475 billion in 2015, data from RBI shows.
gdp-graph

Economists also attribute the current slowdown in the economy partly to the fall in the savings rate.

“We estimate India’s long-term growth to have slowed to 6.5 per cent vs 7.1 per cent estimated three years ago, partly due to this macro imbalance created — falling savings and muted investments,” UBS Securities said in a report.

When compared to BRICS economies and other emerging market peers, India stands out favourably. Brazil has a savings rate of 16 per cent of GDP, Mexico 23 per cent, and the Philippines 14.2 per cent. But bigger rival China is at 46 per cent, data with the World Bank shows.

Also Read

India’s savings rate plunges to 15 year low

Small savings rate may see moderation next quarter: DEA secy

Big hike in small savings rates: Should you invest now?

Cutting small savings rate makes little sense

Market Movers: Trump slams Opec on rising oil prices; Govt raises small savings rates & more

Comments
Add Your Comments
Commenting feature is disabled in your country/region.

Other useful Links


Copyright © 2020 Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. All rights reserved. For reprint rights: Times Syndication Service