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‘Consistently inaccurate’: Ex-economic advisor on IMF’s growth estimates for India

Reacting to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) distancing itself from his projection of 8% growth rate for India, ex-Chief Economic Advisor (CEA) K Subramanian, India’s representative at the world body since November 2022, on Saturday pointed to what he said was “IMF’s consistently inaccurate estimate of India’s growth rate during my tenure.”

IMF executive director KV Subramanian (ANI Photo)

“While India’s growth has been more than 7%, IMF staff estimates have all been less than 7%. In contrast, I have made accurate predictions. See my Sep-21 prediction: ‘Expect more than 7% growth for India this decade. And actual growth (was) FY21-22: 9.7%, FY22-23: 7%; FY23-24 (estimate): 7.6%. The data speaks!” he said in a lengthy post on X (formerly Twitter), a day after IMF spokesperson Julie Kozack stated that his comments were strictly in his capacity as India’s representative.

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Subramanian was responding to a “bhakt economists” jibe by Supriya Shrinate, a spokesperson of the opposition Congress party.

Sharing IMF’s “inaccurate” estimates, he continued: “For FY23-24, in Nov-22 and Jan-23, IMF staff predicted 6.1% growth. In Apr-23, they lowered it to 5.9%. In Nov-23, they predicted 6.3%. And actual growth estimate (NSSO) for FY23-24: 7.6%. In my opinion, (it) will be revised to ~ 8%. So, the error margins are HUGE: 1.9% in Nov-22 and Jan-23, 2.1% in Apr-23, and 1.7% in Nov-23. Similarly, even FY23-24 growth estimates of IMF staff is less than 7%.”

“Data clearly shows whose prediction is more accurate! Need I say more?” he asked.

Subramanian, who was India’s 17th CEA from December 2018 to December 2021, is currently an Executive Director at the Washington-based IMF, a major financial agency of the United Nations. There, he succeeded economist Surjit Bhalla, and as CEA, the former was succeeded by V Anantha Nageswaran, the incumbent.

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