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

News Snippets

  • In a first, the Supreme Court recognizes marital rape, although for the limited purpose of allowing married women the right of abortion up to 24 weeks if they conceived as a result of forced sex by their husbands
  • Air India cuts discounts on base fare to students and senior citizens from 50% to 25%
  • Mallikarjun Kharge and Digvijay Singh are being touted as frontrunners to take on Shashi Tharoor in the elections for the post of Congress president
  • Sonia Gandhi will decide who will be Rajasthan CM if she feels there is a need to change guard after the near-rebellion by MLAs in the state
  • Ashok Gehlot bowed out of the race for being Congress president after meeting Sonia Gandhi
  • India has moved to the 40th spot in the innovation index, up 6 spots from last year
  • DGGI has alleged that top insurance companies, banks and NBFCs has committed a fraud of Rs 800cr by claiming input tax credit without underlying supplies
  • The Centre will borrow Rs 10000cr less than planned earlier due to good revenue collections
  • At $23.9bn, India's current account deficit widened to 2.8% in Q1, the worst in four years
  • Stocks continue to flounder on Thursday: Sensex sheds 188 points to 56409 and Nifty 40 points to 16818
  • The 36th National Games were declared open on Thusrday by PM Modi in front of a record crowd in Motera near Ahmedabad
  • Jasprit Bumrah most likely to miss T20 World Cup due to recurrence of back injury
  • PFI's political wing, the SDPI is on EC radar and action will follow soon if discrepancies are detected
  • Ashok Gehlot to meet Sonia Gandhi today, says all issues will be sorted out soon
  • Referring to the PFI ban, most Muslim organizations ask the government to take similar action against right wings organizations like the RSS, Bajrang Dal, VHP and the like
In a landmark order, Supreme Court rules that all women, married or unmarried, are entitled to safe and legal abortion up to 24 weeks of pregnancy as per the MTP Act
oppn parties
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.