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Economic Outlook

Indian businesses most optimistic about economy in 2015

Indian businesses have emerged as being the most optimistic about the economy for 2015, with 98 per cent suggesting they are positive about the policies of the new government, way above the global average of 35 per cent, says a report by Grant Thornton.

According to assurance, tax and advisory firm Grant Thornton’s International Business Report, 94 per cent of Indian businesses are expecting an increase in revenues and 89 per cent expect rise in profits in the next 12 months.

“The new government has taken significant steps to unleash economic reforms, ease regulatory shackles and improve India’s image globally,” Grant Thornton India LLP National Managing Partner Vishesh C Chandiok said.

While 41 per cent of businesses in India believe that exports would grow in the next 12 months, much better than the global average of 18 per cent, 53 per cent plan to ramp up investments in new buildings in 2015.

Moreover, employment prospects look bright too for 2015 as 73 per cent expect to hire workers (the highest in the IBR survey) — the global average is just 28 per cent.

However, 50 per cent of business leaders cite a lack of skilled workers as a constraint on growth, almost double the global average of 26 per cent.

A significant percentage of Indian businesses (70 per cent) have also cited regulations/red tape as a constraint on growth — the highest in the IBR survey, suggesting that “India Inc expects the new government to ease regulatory shackles and fast-pace decision-making”, the survey said.

At the global stage, however, a recent spate of uncertainties has been weighing on growth prospects for the year ahead. This is mainly due to fall in oil prices, tensions in Ukraine and concern around the pace of the slowdown in China.

“The prevailing uncertainty is making life tough for businesses, forcing them to delay decisions over investment in the future growth of their operations,” Grant Thornton Global CEO Ed Nusbaum said.

“Given the turbulent state of global markets, this is understandable. They remain positive about their expansion prospects but certainly less so than three months ago,” Nusbaum added.

The article appeared in the Hindu Business Line. The article can be found here.