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For many years India was one of the most promising emerging markets. Real gross domestic product growth averaged more than 8 percent per year from 2003 through 2010, but by fiscal 2013 (which ran through March) the nation’s economic expansion had slowed to an annual rate of 5 percent — the lowest level in more than a decade.

It continues to falter. Just last month both the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank slashed their GDP forecasts for the current fiscal year, from 5.6 percent to 3.8 percent and from 6.1 percent to 4.7 percent, respectively. Those reductions didn’t sit well with the current government, especially with national elections only months away. ­Chakravarthi Rangarajan, chairman of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s economic advisory council, dismissed the institutions as “unduly pessimistic” and insisted that growth would meet or beat 5 percent this year.

However, with myriad problems besetting India’s economy, few market observers believe that much will change by the time polling begins in May. Inflation remains high — India’s wholesale price index rose 6.46 percent year-over-year in September, up from 6.1 percent in August and the fastest rate since February — as does the current-­account deficit, which neared $88 billion, or a record 4.8 percent of GDP, in fiscal 2013. That was up from $78 billion, or 4.2 percent of GDP, in the previous fiscal year.

“Growth has been one concern that we think will continue into early 2014,” asserts Jyoti Jaipuria, head of India research at Bank of America Merrill Lynch in Mumbai. “The fiscal deficit will also be a concern. Over the next six months, however, the primary focus of investors will likely be the elections and what the nature and shape of the new government is.”

Singapore-­based Chetan Ahya, Morgan Stanley’s economist for the Asia-­Pacific region, points to other issues. “As policymakers focus on improving the macro indicators — such as inflation, the current-­account deficit and the gap between loan growth and deposit growth — over the next six to 12 months, a meaningful recovery in private capital expenditures, government spending or private consumption will be difficult to achieve,” he says.

That’s not to suggest that investors necessarily should steer clear. Although the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex Index climbed only 5.8 percent year to date through mid-October, far below the 19.1 percent gain of the S&P 500, it nonetheless trumped the MSCI Emerging-Markets Index by some 7.4 percentage points. Opportunities abound for investors that know where to look.