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Last updated: 02 Mar, 2021  

Up.9.Thmb.jpg Brighter economic prospects

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Bikky Khosla | 02 Mar, 2021

The Indian economy is on the cusp of revival, leaving a sharp downturn behind. As per the figures released by the National Statistical Office (NSO) last week, GDP grew by 0.4 per cent in third quarter of the fiscal year 2021 against 3.3 per cent growth registered in third quarter of the previous fiscal. Needless to say, the economy was hit hard last year by the lockdown imposed to curb the spread of Covid-19, and even now its impacts are quite evident, but the latest data clearly signals to a brighter future.

A deeper delving into the data shows that quarterly Gross Value Added showed a year-on-year rise of 1 per cent from (-)7.3 per cent in Q2FY21. On a sequential basis, GVA from the farm sector rose to 3.9 per cent. In case of manufacturing, the growth rate is 1.6 per cent and while GVA from the electricity, gas, water supply & other utility services sector showed a growth of 7.3 percent. More importantly, Gross Fixed Capital Formation -- an indicator for investment demand in the economy-- rose 33 per cent from 31.8 per cent in Q2FY21.

Most economist believe that going forward things will improve further, particularly from the fourth quarter as lockdowns in many sectors eased substantially during this period. And although there are still some confusions as the second advance estimate expects FY21 GDP to contract 8 per cent, which is sharper than 7.7 per cent contraction as per the first advance estimate, there is enough scope for optimism as shown by indicators such as auto and tractor sales, GST collections, exports, manufacturing, etc.

Meanwhile, recently there is sharp rise in global demand for non-ferrous metals like copper, aluminium and zinc, and this has aided India's engineering exports through the Covid-19 pandemic. According to an estimate, exports from the sector rose 16 per cent in January 2021 over the same month last year. Similarly, sharp rise in agri commodity prices in the international markets during post-Covid season has enhanced the prospects of our farm exports. These trends are encouraging.

I invite your opinions.

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