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Indian economy looks better than others, but don't raise a cheer just yet

The comparative numbers spell bad news for the world rather than any good news for India, whose growth forecasts are getting tempered even as the inflation picture is getting worse, writes T N Ninan

Topics
Indian Economy | Weekend Ruminations | Consumer Price Index

T N Ninan 

T N Ninan

The Indian economy, however troubled, looks better than almost any other. Start with prices. Consumer price in the US is at 8.5 per cent, a 40-year high. In the euro area, it is 7.5 per cent. These are economies used to averaging less than 2 per cent. Here in India we may groan over rising petrol and diesel costs and some spectacular price tags on individual food items. Lemon prices, for instance, have been reported as high as ~300-350 per kg in some wholesale markets. Naturally, criticism of the Reserve Bank has grown for not having placed greater emphasis much earlier on controlling inflation, which is now well above the target range. Still, India’s consumer price is moderate at fractionally under 7 per cent. Compared with the Brics economies, Brazilian inflation is in the double-digits at 11.3 per cent, as is Russia’s at 16.7 per cent. Only China has the inflation beast virtually slain, breathing slowly at just 1.5 per cent. (All numbers are as compiled by The Economist.)

The comparative picture is even better when it comes to economic growth. India tops the forecasts for 2022, at 7.2 per cent. China comes the closest among the large economies with 5.5 per cent, while the US and the euro area are naturally lower at 3 and 3.3 per cent, respectively — the advanced economies tend to grow slower than those tagged “emerging”. Regardless, Brazil is stagnant and Russia is headed for deep trouble with a projected 10.1 per cent shrinkage of its gross domestic product (GDP). Japan on its part has low inflation with modestly accelerating growth.

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First Published: Fri, April 15 2022. 18:02 IST
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