India is reopening its economy even as infections surge. The cost of remaining closed has proved to be just too great. From one of the most stringent lockdowns in the world imposed at short notice in March when India had registered some 500 positive cases, the country is rapidly easing restrictions when the peak still seems far and total infections to date have crossed well beyond the 400,000 mark and are growing.
Coming on top of India’s economic slowdown since 2016-17, the lockdowns have triggered the worst economic downturn in India’s history. On May 15, NCAER presented the interim results from its Quarterly Review of the Economy for the first quarter of 2020-21 to assess the economy-wide impact of India’s biggest economic shock and what the future might hold. The Central Government had just announced its major stimulus package.
On Thursday, June 25, as we near the end of this quarter, NCAER presented a deeper analysis of possible growth and inflation scenarios that the Indian economy may face depending on how consumption and investment demand responds to the stimulus and how it overcomes the many supply side constraints that are everywhere. The QRE’s principal authors, NCAER Distinguished Fellow Sudipto Mundle, Senior Fellow Bornali Bhandari, and NIPFP Professor and now Vice Chancellor, BASE in Bengaluru, N R Bhanumurthy, presented their new findings. Two distinguished QRE guests, Shankar Acharya, Honorary Professor at ICRIER and former Chief Economic Adviser to the Government of India, and Pronab Sen, Programme Director at IGC India and India’s former Chief Statistician offered their comment. The discussion was moderated by NCAER Director General, Shekhar Shah and was attended by over 250 participants.
The Review and presentation is available on this webpage.