Number Theory: The data India needs to diagnose the economy -Roshan Kishore

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published Published on Feb 12, 2021   modified Modified on Feb 12, 2021

-Hindustan Times

Most forecasters, institutional and private, have revised their GDP estimates for both 2020-21 and 2021-22.

India imposed one of the world’s most stringent lockdowns -- it went on for 68 days -- starting on March 25 to curb the spread of Covid-19 infections. It was this lockdown which triggered a record contraction of 24% in India’s gross domestic product (GDP) in the first quarter of fiscal 2020-21. The economic shock led to projections of a sharp fall in GDP in 2020-21. With the removal of lockdown restrictions, and more importantly, no second wave of infections, the economy is expected to do better than had been expected.

Most forecasters, institutional and private, have revised their GDP estimates for both 2020-21 and 2021-22. Many, including the government, claim that the economy is on course to a V-shaped recovery, and the lockdown has not left any significant scars on the economy. Others, including some reputed economists, do not agree with this assessment. They argue that a large section of the economy has suffered badly because of the disruption caused by the lockdown and this will continue to generate headwinds for growth. Which of these sides is closer to the truth? Unfortunately, we do not have enough empirical evidence to clinch this debate either way at the moment. Here are four data points, which we do not have, but could have helped in settling this debate.

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Hindustan Times, 12 February, 2021, https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/number-theory-the-data-india-needs-to-diagnose-the-economy-101613079758451.html


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