Concerns increased over the economic growth in India amid the second wave of coronavirus. The lockdown staggered the pace of almost 70% of the industries last year. However, the second coronavirus wave hasn’t had much of a declining impact on industrial growth. The situation remains fragile as the states hit worst by the second wave are contemplating the possibility of another lockdown. The economic graphics have not destabilized the economic recovery yet but state lockdowns, like the one imposed in Maharashtra recently, could hamper the growth of the April-June Quarter. The Indian markets have been consolidating after having fresh record highs back in February 2021. Fretful infections have been on the spiking surge over the past few weeks.
The relaxations have dwelled down easily within the people, and they have started to neglect the recurrence of the virus. On Monday, India surpassed the record of cases per day crossing, the 1,00,000 mark. Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Kerala have the highest number of active manifestations, with Mumbai leading the city chart reporting around 8,000 cases every day. So what has led to the astounding spike, and are the people reiterating the virus casually?
States are propulsive on announcing localized lockdown, but this route might condor all the recovery that has regained over the past few months. Industrial production got substantially increased as the lockdown eased in India. But are the coronavirus reports getting more covered from the databases or the real-worth scenario of testing extracted from the figures? The partial lockdown in Maharashtra could steadily impact the economy denting up to 0.6% of growth. The previous shutdown caused a miserable few days for the Indian citizens. A vast majority of the population hasn’t coped up with the pool of stagnation yet. When the States economy was gobbling up its speed, the surge in cases coupled with crude oil disruptions has made the circumstances adverse once again. Witnessing the highest spike in a day, Maharashtra has taken stringent steps to overcome the bizarreness of the pandemic. The Uddhav Thackeray’s led Government proposed new guidelines on Monday. While announcing the lockdown order, the government exempted essence, medical services, and transportation. Maharashtra’s situation inclined towards another downfall before gearing its way back again. Around six states in India have the potency to sail on the same boat. We would look at some of the highly critical states, whose growth could get hampered to obscure.
Ringing Alarm Bells in the Critical States
States with a threatening spread of new cases are showing sharper drop mobility. In Maharashtra, Delhi, Gujarat, and Karnataka, mobility rates were significantly below national aggregates across categories. The overview of the report shows that if another strain of virus gauges its way in India, it could be the final nail in the coffin for precarious Industries. On the week ended on April 4, the weekly Nomura India Business Resumption Index fell sharply to 90.4 from 94.6 percent a week before. The industries are standing on the edge of a shutdown, while the dine-in is temporarily suspended we could see the restaurants losing their grappling hook again. It is the steepest weekly decline since mid-April last year. “The fall was driven by a sharp deterioration in mobility data,” Nomura said. Maharashtra’s government promptness to impose a partial lockdown on weekends has its believers and protestors. While the Indian citizens felt this is the utmost priority, the restaurants feel that a large chunk of business would get upheld with dine-in restrictions coupled with no weekend engagement. The situation gets blurry as Maharashtra accounts for 14% of the country’s nominal GDP. If the prominent focus of recovering the economy shifts from Maharashtra, Then; what are the possible aspects that the administration could bank on for growth?
The talking point for the states has been on how long they can sustain protracted lockdowns. The impact is magnifying and soon recession could force its mojo back in the game. Abheek Barua, the chief economist at HDFC Bank, said that despite the selective spread of COVID-19, the situation gets a pessimistic response due to the higher stakes of these states in India’s GDP. Maharashtra, along with Karnataka and Delhi, is the most cardinal place for working unions. All three states acquire 3/4th IT professionals combined than the rest of the Indian states. The problem extends the lines of disruptions as the supply chains act as a blocking passageway in the resumption of activities in states. The states are interdependent for contacting blizzard activities across industries.
Virtuous Sectors may Withstand Oppression from the Epidemic
Electricity-based industries get rallied on a consumption basis, and they have not suggested any downturn yet. They remain robust alongside the railway freight revenues. Both of the industries are excelling on a rise and there has been no significant difference in revenues for the past few months, claims various reports. Even in Maharashtra, where the strictest lockdown continues, manufacturing facilities are allowed to conduct their activities. Nomura Economists suggest that the trends of the localized lockdown would slightly impact the growth of good sectors, as they have in wellness adapted to the new normal and started functioning accordingly. The promptness of decision-making has helped industries to gather their pace. With the vaccination drive going in full force, there will not be much of a revenue deficit for the electricity as well as the manufacturing industries. Nomura Economists asserted,” The lagged impact of easy financial conditions, fiscal activism, and strong global growth remain cyclical tailwinds.”
The sectors that seem more at risk of vandalism are hotels, transportation, and restaurants. The lockdown would redundantly reduce the consumer penetration on traveling and restaurants which could lead to gigantic implications on the working of these sectors. Maharashtra’s weekend lockdown would be an impromptu model which could lead to the closure of many restaurants within the space of a month. If the spike goes on like it’s been over weeks, the downfall could be edging closer at the corners of the restaurants, hotels, cinemas, and other prolific entertainment services.
Indian economy one breakdown away from crumbling again
The Indian economy has already started to foresee a slowdown in the services sectors. Hospitality and transportation amount to almost 5.7% of GDP. While the footballs at the beginning of the year were close to 60-70% of pre-covid levels, it has observed a steep curve since the second wave. Kumara Rajagopalan, CEO of the Retailers Association of India pointed out that the drastic efforts have started shivering the business community. The initial tests during the first quarter did not bring as many positive results as it doing today. Even before the restrictions got imposed yesterday in Maharashtra, the industrial corporation was conducting randomized Covid-19 tests at crowded locations. The move deterred visitors, bringing the retailers back to square one. The things mentioned in the restrictions coerces an outright shutdown on dine-in and traveling at weekends which could massively hit the economy.
Rajagopalan said that the impact in other states is not astounding, but the associations are tampering on making the decision. Night curfews have already unveiled their way back into the chassis, which grants retailers early windup for the day. Maharashtra is worldwide renowned for its nightlife by enthusiasts, and the restaurants, the street food vendors would be the most affected. Explained in detail:
Night curfews and weekend lockdowns have been implemented in Maharashtra, whereas Delhi across other states opted for night curfew. Restaurants, bars, and eateries have once again shut doors on government orders to combat the Coronavirus infection. As the shutters come down on restaurants, the wonders are looking at a fate they had never imagined. Riyaaz Amlani, the man behind the popular SOCIAL chain of restaurants, expressed his utter disappointment on the lockdown. Things were gradually gathering up, and the hospitality industry had only just started to recover before the night curfews and weekend lockdowns got imposed again. He claims that while the lockdown was announced for public safety, it may be the final nail in the coffin for the F&B industry.
Anurag Katriar, president of the National Restaurants Association of India (NRAI) expressed his condemnation of curbing the interests of the F&B industry. He asserted that the complete shutdown on the weekend would result in excruciation for the restaurant chains. More than 60% of the weekly business of the restaurants allocates on weekends, and the night revenue from dinner stands at 75%. The situation has worsened the woes of the Food and Beverages Industry and the eagerness is rightly reflected on the owners of the food corporations. He sarcastically tweeted that it is better to shut restaurants down completely instead of this excruciating slow death. The thrive was on the pace of growth is turning into a relentless stagnancy.
Assessing the GDP Hit, What if the Situation Worsens?
Pent-up goods have led the demand of economic recovery so far now, but the turnaround seeks in. The expectations in the market were that the demand for the pent-up goods would further boost the drive of the economy. The Financial year ended March 31, and the belief around the chief economists was that the services would lead the economy out of the grips of contraction. “It is now likely that the services-led rebound will be realized in its entirety in H2 FY22 instead of H1. In that sense, this is a case of recovery delayed, not denied,” said Pranjul Bhandari, chief economist at HSBC.
In case the second wave of the coronavirus worsens in April, the growth prospects for the next two quarters would get disrupted. The conflicting part is that the economy hadn’t recovered from the ramifications of the earlier lockdown. And now the forthcoming surge is more disastrous due to higher infections mounting every day. The spike would mean more state-level restrictions and moderation in contact services. However, the situation is already getting worse in prolific states, and it seems we are going to perceive another prolonged lockdown. The public union is frustrated and infuriated as they felt that this pause and play setback is causing more harm than the complete cessation of the activities. Prime Minister is going to address the situation of Covid-19 with the Chief Ministers in an Inter-Cabinet meeting, which is going to be held later this week. However, the meeting undergoes, it is not getting ease down the contractions with people taking the infection lightly. The country’s notion is to stay safe and follow the protocols strictly. Otherwise, we could follow in the footsteps of the flashbacks of last year.