Economic indicators flash early warning signal for India’s recovery

Economic indicators flash early warning signal for India's recovery

The reading probably worsened this month as omicron-fueled Covid-19 cases spiked, forcing some Indian states to resort to virus-control measures including putting curbs on some services and businesses. That’s likely to push India’s policy makers to retain their accommodative bias as the government prepares its annual budget and rate-setters get ready to review borrowing costs in February.

Trade deficit stayed raised at near $22 billion on the rear of strong imports. India’s economic momentum stayed stable in December even as the first signs of easing back yield development showed up across certain enterprises. That is the perusing from the overall activity tracker involving eight high-frequency indicators compiled by Bloomberg News. While the needle on a dial estimating the so-called ‘Animal Spirits’ remained unaltered at 5 for a seventh month, top makers across customer durables and automobiles signaled weakness as the year wound down.

Activity in India’s dominant services sector expanded for the fifth month, and manufacturing for the sixth, although growth in new work and production lost some momentum, according to IHS Markit. While the composite index slipped to 56.4 last month from 59.2 in November, it held up above its long-run average.

Exports

Exports grew a robust 39% year-on-year in December to $37.8 billion, the highest monthly tally on record led by commodities, chemicals and electronics. However, the trade deficit remained elevated at close to $22 billion on the back of strong imports.

Consumer Activity

Passenger vehicle sales fell for a fourth straight month, as production was hit by a global chip shortage. That aside, demand for bank credit grew a healthy 9.2% at the end of December from a year earlier, while liquidity conditions remained in surplus last month.

Industrial Activity

Industrial production growth cooled to a nine-month low of 1.4% in November from a year earlier, which QuantEco Research economist Yuvika Singhal attributed to factors including a post-festive drop in production and supply-side disruptions. Output at infrastructure industries, which makes up 40% of the industrial production index, eased to 3.1% in November. Both data are published with a one-month lag.

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