New Delhi: India’s economic growth is set to slow further in the April-June quarter of this year to 5.7 per cent amid contraction in consumption, weak investments and an under-performing service sector, says a Nomura report. According to the global financial services major, even though growth is set to slow further in Q2 (April-June) the economy is expected to see some recovery in the July-September quarter. “High-frequency indicators continue to show familiar pain points a deep contraction in consumption, weak investment, a slowing external sector and an under-performing services sector,” Nomura said in a research note. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscal The report added that some indicators are showing early signs of bottoming out. Data so far for July show that 53 per cent of indicators have improved compared with 31 per cent in June, the report noted. Nomura’s Composite Leading Index (CLI) for Q3 (July-September) has ticked marginally higher to 99.9 from 99.8 in Q2, led by higher industrial production growth, an improvement in visitor arrivals growth, equity markets and lower policy rates. Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boost “While the concurrent state of the economy remains quite concerning, nascent signs of green shoots and positive performance of leading indicators provide some signs that a recovery may be slowly materialising,” the Nomura report said. India’s economic growth slowed to 6.8 per cent in 2018-19 – the slowest pace since 2014-15. There are ominous signs showing that slowdown may be deep. Consumer confidence is waning, foreign direct investment has plateaued and international trade and currency war is further aggravating the problem. To take stock of the situation, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman held several meetings with officials and industry leaders who have asked for stimulus measure to boost consumer demand and private investments. Though there are increasing signs of the government taking stock of the slowdown, and possibly announcing some short-term measures to buoy business confidence, Nomura assesses limited fiscal space for any substantive stimulus. “We currently expect GDP growth in Q2 to slow to 5.7 per cent YoY from 5.8 per cent in Q1, before improving to 6.4 per cent YoY in Q3 and 6.7 per cent in Q4,” it said, adding that it was closely watching for signs of sustainability of the growth turnaround. The Central Statistics Office (CSO) will come out with the GDP figures for the first quarter (April-June) on August 30. Meanwhile, the automobile sector is facing its worst crisis in two decades and reports suggest thousands of job losses in the auto and ancillary industry. In the real estate sector, the number of unsold homes has increased, while fast-moving consumer goods companies have reported a decline in volume growth in the first quarter.
OTTAWA – The Trudeau government only found out by accident that former prime minister Stephen Harper was planning to visit the White House next week in the midst of a looming trade war between Canada and the United States.According to one senior official, Harper himself didn’t mention the visit, bucking convention by not informing the Canadian government.Instead, the Canadian embassy in Washington got a call from John Bolton, President Donald Trump’s national security adviser, asking who would be accompanying the prime minister to the meeting on Monday.Baffled, the embassy contacted the Prime Minister’s Office, to see if Justin Trudeau had somehow forgotten to mention he was heading to Washington.Trudeau’s foreign policy adviser, John Hannaford, then contacted his counterpart in the White House, who eventually apologized for the mixup and explained it was former prime minister Harper who would be visiting.Harper’s office did not respond to a request for comment and it wasn’t clear Thursday whether the meeting is still scheduled to take place Monday — one day after Canada’s retaliatory tariffs on imports of a wide range of U.S. goods, and as well as steel and aluminum, are set to come into effect.Nor was it clear whether Harper might have been planning to meet with anyone else at the White House or what he intended to talk about.As president of the International Democrat Union, an alliance of right-of-centre political parties around the globe, there may have been any number of issues Harper would want to address, including Israel and Iran.The visit to the U.S. capital comes amid heightened tensions between Canada and the U.S. over the prospect of a trade war.Talks to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement have stalled since Trump last month imposed a 25 per cent tariff on steel imports from Canada and a 10 per cent tariff on aluminum imports.Trump has since threatened to impose more tariffs on Canadian-made automobiles and dairy.And he and other administration officials have also engaged in personal attacks against Trudeau in speeches and on political talk shows and social media.In Montreal on Thursday, Transport Minister Marc Garneau noted that opposition parties have united behind the government in its response to U.S. tariffs and threats of a trade war.“We speak with one voice, and we certainly hope that will continue to be the case, and we fully expect it to be the case,” he said.Harper was a team player earlier this month when he appeared on Fox News to defend Canada’s trade relationship with the U.S. He suggested that Canada “is the wrong target” for Trump’s wrath over unfair trade practices.However, in a memo to clients last fall entitled “Napping on NAFTA,” Harper accused the Trudeau government of bungling negotiations on the continental trade pact.Asked Thursday if Harper should have advised the government that he planned to visit the White House, Garneau said: “Mr Harper is a private citizen and I’m sure he’s sensitive to those things because he’s a former prime minister himself.”