India’s economy in 2020: Year of many questions -Anil Sasi

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published Published on Dec 29, 2020   modified Modified on Dec 29, 2020

-The Indian Express

India's economy in 2020: As Annus Horribilis 2020 comes to an end, there are positives in the economy: signs of a GDP rebound, and buoyant equity markets. But demand is weak, receipts are down, and the employment situation is grim. All eyes are on the Budget — and on the vaccines

In a little over a month, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will present what she has heralded as “a Budget like never before”. As a year like never before ends, there are questions on the way forward — including whether the Budget, or any policy intervention by the government in the coming months, can make up for the underwhelming fiscal stimulus response to the situation brought about by the pandemic. And whether other headwinds might potentially circumscribe the rebound in economic growth.

Even as industrial output picked up as the economy reopened, buoyed by pent-up demand and a festival spending boost, consumer sentiment remains weak. The employment outlook is tepid and household incomes continue to be sub-optimal. Stimulus-fuelled investment flows from the US and Europe have brought back risk appetite, sending a deluge from safe-haven assets into stock markets and emerging market economies. India is a net gainer — in fact, if the financial market optimism were to be conflated with the travails of the real economy, a structural disconnect of epic proportions would appear to emerge — the equivalent of an Arnold Schwarzenegger torso on Woody Allen legs, inherently wobbly and likely to come crashing down.

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The Indian Express, 29 December, 2020,

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