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Reversing the downtrend

Reversing the downtrend

Friday's data released by the National Statistical Office (NSO) is not just another confirmation of the economic downturn but a cause for expected concern as well. India's GDP growth slipped to 4.7 per cent in the third quarter (October-December) 2019 as against 5.6 per cent in the corresponding quarter of 2018-19. The previous year has seen wide discussions on the downturn and the underlying concern has left the economists exasperated besides stressed. Though the budget and revised estimates for next quarter reinstill hope for a gradual recovery, the figures fuel questions on measures that contributed to a fall in growth in the first place. Above all, it is the government that has to take notice of the affairs as the economy limps back to the trajectory. In fact, the data released by the commerce ministry showed that eight core industries recorded a 2.2 per cent growth in January, helped by expansion in the production of coal, refinery products and electricity. Looking at the bright side is important in times of economic uncertainty, especially on the global front as well. The outbreak of Coronavirus has been devastating on both social and economic ends. While the number of countries affected by the virus rose to 57, the economy has been impacted by the same in one way or other. Oxford Economics posted a warning on how the proliferation of virus across regions will knock 1.3 per cent off global growth this year which is equivalent to $1.1 trillion in lost income. One aspect of it can be understood from the closure of Chinese factories that are the source of vast markets in Asia and Indian subcontinent, particularly India. Indian supply chains are reeling under the virus-induced disruption. A number of big guns in the business world have China in their supply chains, particularly manufacturing units. With China devastated with Coronavirus, the impact has to be borne by both sides, subsequently impacting the foreign nations' economy in whatever percentage points. India is no stranger to that equation. Naturally, apprehensions around the virus have got the Wall Street concerned over a fall as dismal as the 2008 slowdown. The fear of a global slowdown, however, remains secondary to our own growth prospects. While it is important, priority must be rested on domestic trends to ensure that revised estimates can be achieved in time. The high-growth trajectory of ours might have been disrupted through inappropriate measures or ill-timed policies but crafting a path back to the same is an opportunity we must not lose.

(Image from thenews21.com)

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