India’s economy was booming before Omicron hit, numbers show

All eight high-frequency economic indicators tracked by Bloomberg News were unchanged in November

India’s economy grew at a steady pace in November, a month when the Omicron variant of the coronavirus raised new concerns about the risks to the recovery.

All eight high-frequency indicators tracked by Bloomberg News were stable for the past month, with the needle on a dial measuring so-called “animal spirits” unchanged at 5. The level was reached with the three weighted averages volatility of the notes of a single month.

Source: Bloomberg News

But the pace of activity – based on metrics ranging from demand for services to factory production – is threatened by the surge in cases of Omicron variants, which were first discovered in South Africa towards the end of the month. While the Reserve Bank of India left its full-year growth forecast at 9.5% this month, Governor Shaktikanta Das was cautious, saying “it is too early to assess the impact of the new tension at this point”.

There aren’t any crippling restrictions on the economy yet, but the capital New Delhi has canceled all Christmas and New Year celebrations and has teamed up with other states to reinstate the night curfew as the cases unfold. The federal government announced separately that it would extend the vaccination campaign to most young people and provide booster vaccinations to endangered areas.

Below are the details of the dashboard. (For an alternative measure of growth trends, follow Bloomberg Economics’ monthly GDP tracker – a weighted index of 11 indicators.)

Commercial activities

Activity in India’s dominant service sector rose for the fourth month in a row as the purchasing managers’ index for manufacturing climbed to 57.6 – its best performance since January according to IHS Markit. This helped push the composite index to its highest level in about a decade, and new orders also reached their best level since February 2012.

Source: Bloomberg News


Exports grew 27% year-on-year in November, slower than the previous month’s 43% growth. Imports rose 57%, reflecting an increase in demand for gold, iron and steel, machinery and electronics as economic activity recovered.

Source: Bloomberg News

Consumer activity

Car sales declined for the third month in a row as global chip shortages hampered production. That setback aside, RBI data showed that bank loan demand rose 7% year over year in November, reflecting the momentum in consumer trends. Liquidity conditions were again in surplus last month, suggesting easy credit availability.

Source: Bloomberg News

Industrial activity

Industrial production rose 3.2% yoy in October, slower than in the first five months of the year, as the favorable base effect wears off.

The production of the infrastructure industries, which accounts for 40% of the industrial production index, rose 7.5% in October. Both dates are published with a one-month delay.

Financial Express telegram Financial Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel and stay up to date with the latest news and updates from Biz.