Economy Picking Up, Leaving Behind Shadow of Pandemic: RBI Dy Guv

The Indian economy is picking up, leaving behind the shadow of the pandemic as consumer demand improves and supply constraints ease due to strong kharif agricultural production and revival in manufacturing and services. Also softer food prices are aligning headline inflation closer to the target of 5.3% for FY22.

Yet global uncertainties, rising global inflation and the risk of a sudden spike in cases poses a risk, an assessment of the economy by RBI deputy governor Michael Patra and his team, published in the latest monthly bulletin say.

“The green shoots of revival have spilled out of the high frequency indicators and on to the headline metrics in a recovery that is progressively solidifying,” the report said. RBI’s Economic Activity Index (EIA) indicates that real GDP grew by 9.6 per cent in July-September 2021.

Kharif food grains production in 2021-22 is slated to touch an all-time record.

Industrial production had rebounded past its 2019 level, with all constituents sharing in the breakthrough in sequential improvement, including the laggard- manufacturing-but excluding consumer durables which are in a slower catch-up.

The swing in the current account balance from a deficit to a surplus of 0.9% of GDP in the first quarter of 2021-22 is driven by a shift in gears from weak domestic and external demand to the robust strength of export performance of both merchandise and software, according to Patra and his team’s assessment.

Although the latter’s current perceptions indicate elevated inflation, their expectation over a year ahead have dipped 60 basis points. Housing sales are surging in the top seven cities.

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