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India’s second COVID-19 wave may impede economic recovery, says S&P

Reuters
India’s second COVID-19 wave may impede economic recovery, says S&P

OXYGEN. People carry oxygen cylinders after refilling them in a factory, amid the spread of COVID-19 in Ahmedabad, India, April 25, 2021.

Photo by Amit Dave/Reuters

'In addition to the substantial loss of life and significant humanitarian concerns, S&P Global Ratings believes the outbreak poses downside risks to GDP and heightens the possibility of business disruptions,' says the agency

Credit rating agency S&P Global said on Wednesday, April 28, the second wave of COVID-19 infections in India could impede the country’s economic recovery and expose other nations to further waves of outbreaks.

“In addition to the substantial loss of life and significant humanitarian concerns, S&P Global Ratings believes the outbreak poses downside risks to GDP (gross domestic product) and heightens the possibility of business disruptions,” the rating agency said in a note.

India’s healthcare system has been overwhelmed, with the world’s second most populous country reporting more than 300,000 new COVID-19 cases daily over the past 6 days and the death toll crossing 200,000.

S&P, which has a long-term credit rating of ‘BBB-‘ on India, just one notch above junk, said it may have to revise its base-case assumption of 11% growth over fiscal 2021/2022, especially if wider containment measures are reimposed.

S&P expects the consumer retail and airport sectors to have a dragged out recovery with localized lockdowns and curfews in several parts of the country, and said the Indian banking sector continued to face a “high level of systemic risk.”

The rating agency noted that the pace and scale of recovery from the second wave of COVID-19 infections will have implications for India’s sovereign credit rating.

The Asia-Pacific region is susceptible to contagion from the highly infectious COVID-19 variants present in India, given the low ratios of vaccination in the region, S&P said. – Rappler.com

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