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Last updated: 01 Sep, 2020  

Up.Down.Arrow.9.Thmb.jpg GDP shocker

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Bikky Khosla | 01 Sep, 2020

India's April to June quarter Gross Domestic Product (GDP) estimates have declined 23.9 percent, according to latest data released by the National Statistics Office (NSO). This extent of GDP contraction is sharp – probably the steepest on record– but still on expected lines, in the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic and amid all major global economies going through a similar tough phase. However, economy watchers view that the Indian economy will recover the fastest to get back to the high growth path.

A deeper look into the GDP data set shows that while agriculture remained in a bright spot, with 3.4 percent growth, all other sectors witnessed contraction – manufacturing, mining and construction fell 39.3 percent, 23.3 percent and 50.3 percent, respectively. Services sector slumped 20.6 percent; trade, hotels, transport, communication and services related to broadcasting -- which account for 45 percent of the economy – contracted 47 percent; real estate sector, along with financial and professional services fell 5.3 percent, and so on. This data is not all encouraging.

But the worst is probably behind us. According to the Chief Economic Advisor, there may be a V-shaped recovery for India ahead. July core sector data shows that production of the country's eight major industries was in the deep red, but according to the official, this data is indicative of a V-shaped recovery, and a similar recovery can be expected when it comes to the overall economy. It is also worth-mentioning here that the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) forecast that India will be among the countries to recover fastest from the COVID-19 crisis.

Meanwhile, there has been a growing demand for another stimulus package for the economy. The RBI has done a lot recently to help boost consumption, and though experts view that another rate cut may help boost credit off-take, more importantly, a further stimulus at this moment will definitely help the economy. Consumption demand and investments both need to be pushed, and with spike in the number of Corona virus infections continuing, it seems the economy is in urgent need –than ever before -- of prudent fiscal and monetary policies.

I invite your opinions.

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