oppn parties The Economy: Contraction Slowing, But Real Growth Still A Long Distance Away

News Snippets

  • Maratha quota bill likely to be tabled in Maharashtra assembly today
  • Arvind Kejriwal skips ED summons for the 6th time, says the case is in court and will follow court's decision
  • PM Modi says UP has gone from 'red tape' to 'red carpet' in 7 years of 'double engine' government
  • Farm unions reject government offers, to resume Delhi march from today
  • Centre says some Aadhar cards in Bengal 'deactivated' due to technical glitz, will be activated back soon
  • Supreme Court stays LS privilege panel summons to Bengal officials over BJP MP Sukanta Majumdar injury case
  • Supreme Court junks Sandeshkhali petition, says it cannot be compared to Manipur, asks petitioner to approach Calcutta HC
  • Supreme Court gets tough on Chandigarh mayoral elections, asks for ballot papers and video footage, does not order re-election
  • Government starts withdrawing old small tax demands, up to Rs 25000 per entry till FY 2009-10 and up to Rs 10000 per entry from FY 2010-11 to FY 2014-15 with an overall ceiling of Rs 1 lakh per tax payer
  • Stocks remained positive on Monday: Sensex gained 281 points to 72708 and Nifty 81 points to 22122
  • Jasprit Bumrah likely to be rested for 4th Test while K L Rahul may be back
  • FIH Pro League hockey: India beat Spain 8-7 in shootout
  • SP leader Salim Sherwani, miffed at no Muslim candidate given RS ticket, quits party
  • Army going for big (Rs 57000cr) upgrade in combat vehicles to replace T-72 tanks
  • Mamata Banerjee says the BJP is doing nothing to resolve the Sandeshkhali dispute but instead fanning the fires to escalate it
History created in Supreme Court as Chandigarh mayoral poll ballots counted in court, judges declare AAP candidate Kuldeep Kumar winner after taking into account the votes defaced by returning officer Anil Masih
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The Economy: Contraction Slowing, But Real Growth Still A Long Distance Away

By Sunil Garodia
First publised on 2020-11-28 11:24:56

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator.

The Indian economy technically entered a period of recession as it contracted by 7.5 % in the second quarter of 2020-21. Although the decline was lower than expected (most economists had expected a 10% decline while the RBI had put out a figure of 8.6%), still the slump was enough to sound alarm bells. While the government said that the numbers were better than expected and the potential for upsurge was visible, it also sounded a worrying note for a second wave of Covid infections.

But the figures are not so rosy. Except for agriculture, which grew at 3.4% (Q1 3.4%), manufacturing which grew at 0.6% (Q1 -39.3%), and power and gas, which grew at 4.4% (Q1 -7 %), most other sectors continued to show negative growth. Services continued to be heavily in red. Although the rate of contraction was narrowing, yet the sentiment was not improving.

Core sector industries showed a decline of 2.5% as refinery output and steel production declined enormously. The dismal performance of this sector has a huge bearing on the overall industrial data as core sector carries a weight of 40%. Similarly, the services sector has always contributed handsomely to the GDP. It is a sign of the times we live in, where personal contact is avoided, that the services sector is showing continued negative growth. It also means that despite penetration of mobiles and internet, online transactions have not really taken off as expected, which was reflected in financial and professional services declining by a bigger 8.1% in Q2 (Q1 5.3%).

When it is considered that Q2 included the festive season buying, one does not have much hope for Q3 based on these numbers. Demand has not shot up as a whole and the December GST collection figures will give a better picture of which way the economy is headed from here. Although the government talks about having done much through its Covid packages, those were all supply side and lending packages. They have clearly not had the desired effect of boosting demand. Hence, the government should not further delay investments in infrastructure projects. Only then will core sectors show positivity and the whole economy will perk up as a result of that.