VDMA forecasts Indian GDP growth in FY 17-18 at 7.2%

GST – a half-baked cake!


According to the VDMA, which is active in India with support to more than a 100 major German company investments in the country, India’s economy may grow at a slightly slower pace of 7.2% this fiscal year (1 April 2017 to 31 March 2018) amid weaker global demand and risk aversion. VDMA also refers to ‘methodological concerns’ in computation of official GDP data. According to the global financial services majors, some of the factors that are weighing on the economy include weaker global demand, banking sector risk aversion, sluggish domestic private investment, gradually climbing oil prices, and statistical auto-correction in growth data.

All considered, VDMA expects GDP growth to slow gently from 7.6% last year to 7.4% in 2016-17 and further to 7.2% in 2017-18. Despite lower growth, this will be among the best growth performances globally. India’s first quarter GDP growth was 7.9% y-o-y, primarily led by urban consumption demand.

VDMA says the Indian GDP data are fraught with methodological concerns and when it made some adjustments in method, the actual growth was 6 to 6.5%, 150 bps below the official estimate. It is further noted that some of the growth overestimation—around 80 bps—could auto-correct over the next six quarters.

Meanwhile, the factors that are likely to support GDP numbers, going forward, include government wage hike-led urban consumption demand, normal monsoon-driven rural revival and monetary transmission of previous policy rate cuts powered by domestic liquidity.

GST – a half-baked cake! 

Both big note currency demonetization at the end of 2016, and the current goods and services tax (GST) one-tax onecountry regime have been optimistically cheered on by much of the publishing and printing industry. Both large and small commercial printers since 1 July 2017 when the GST came into force, are saying that their presses are mostly idle or working single shift even as they spend countless hours in meetings with other printers and publishers and consultants. 

The problem with one tax one country is that there are multiple GST lanes—0%, 5%, 12% and 18%—for the most part. There is apparently one rate for books where the publisher provides the paper and another if the printer provides a turn-key solution. At a Capexil seminar in Delhi attended by leading book printers, it was not really clear if the rate on printed books is 0% or 18%. For status holding book printing exports, the tax is apparently 0% but large print exporters do not want to be caught out later as ITC was this week when the taxes on cigarettes were steeply revised upwards. 

In the context of even senior government officials attending GST seminars being candidly less than authoritative, a leading book printer and exporter says, “If you are the creator of a half-baked cake and you don’t have any answers, who or what are printers or publishers supposed to do?”

Germany engineering goods and Brexit

The machine manufacturers in Germany fear negative consequences from withdrawal of Britain from the EU. As per the VDMA, this would worsen the investment climate in Europe as the trade to the UK would be noticeably more difficult for machinery. In the first quarter of this year, exports of machinery from Germany have declined to the United Kingdom by 4% to around €1.7 billion compared to last year. With an export volume of €7.2 billion per year (2015), the UK is the fourth most important market for engineering.

For general engineering, UK is one of the core markets. A withdrawal from the EU would be a great loss for the engineering industry. This would in fact hinder bilateral trade between EU and Britain.

The German engineering industry is particularly dependent on exports, which achieved 77% of its sales abroad (2015). Great Britain is one of the main export markets ranking behind the United States (€16.8 billion), China (€16 billion), France (€9.8 billion) and ahead of Italy (€6.5 billion) and the Netherlands (€1 billion). At the same time in 2015, Germany was the most important machine supplier for the UK ahead of the US and well ahead of China.

– Naresh Khanna, editor@ippgroup.in

In 2024, we are looking at full recovery and growth-led investment in Indian printing

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. It created the category of privately owned B2B print magazines in the country. And by its diversification in packaging, (Packaging South Asia), food processing and packaging (IndiFoodBev) and health and medical supply chain and packaging (HealthTekPak), and its community activities in training, research, and conferences (Ipp Services, Training and Research) the organization continues to create platforms that demonstrate the need for quality information, data, technology insights and events.

India is a large and tough terrain and while its book publishing and commercial printing industry have recovered and are increasingly embracing digital print, the Indian newspaper industry continues to recover its credibility and circulation. The signage industry is also recovering and new technologies and audiences such as digital 3D additive printing, digital textiles, and industrial printing are coming onto our pages. Diversification is a fact of life for our readers and like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

India is one of the fastest growing economies in nominal and real terms – in a region poised for the highest change in year to year expenditure in printing equipment and consumables. Our 2024 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock – to emphasize your visibility and relevance to your customers and turn potential markets into conversations.

– Naresh Khanna

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