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Business International TimesofIndia

5-6% GDP growth is not terrible: JP Morgan chairman Jamie Dimon

NEW DELHI: JP Morgan chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon, one of the most powerful American corporate leaders, on Monday said GDP growth numbers in China and India were “not terrible”, suggesting the slowdown should not cause excessive pessimism.

“China is growing at 5.5%, you guys (India) 5-6%. Those are not terrible numbers. They are lower than what you could be doing, but it is 5% — the US is 2%, Europe is 1%, the globe is 2.7-2.8%,” Dimon, head of America’s largest bank, told TOI in an interview.

He said trade tensions had impacted businesses and sentiments, taking a toll on global growth. Suggesting that policymakers needed to introspect over policy responses, he called for coordinated action between governments and central banks across the world.

Amid a slowdown, governments – from the US to India – have called for deep interest rate reduction, causing friction with central banks.

Dimon, however, said that this was not new. “I don’t believe there has ever been a president or prime minister who has wanted higher rates. That conflict has always been there. Central banks need to remain independent. If they are not it’s hard to protect your currency because political forces tend to do things they should not be doing.”

Dimon suggested that JP Morgan, which has $12 billion country exposure in India, may “buy a bank one day” in the country. He backed the government’s recent initiatives on corporation tax reduction and bank consolidation but cautioned that checks were needed on state-run bank lending to ensure that capital was not wasted.

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