Nirmal Bang: India Covid-19 Recovery Continues, But Moving In Slow Lane
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Nirmal Bang Report
In the second fortnight of August, the recovery continued, but it is now moving in the slow lane.
The New Delhi traffic congestion index is back to pre-covid levels. However, google mobility data as of August 30, 2020 from across the country is pointing to sluggishness in the recovery, probably on account of weekend lockdowns imposed in various states.
The improvement in unemployment rates is also now leveling off. In fact, there has been a marginal rise in unemployment in both urban and rural areas.
Data also suggests lower number of jobs created under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS), which is partially indicative of the fact that urban jobs may be returning.
In other data, the Markit manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) is back in the expansion territory at 52 in August while the services PMI although improving still remains in the contraction territory at 41.8.
Automobile sales, at least at the wholesale level, picked up in August, with rural and semiurban demand leading the recovery.
Overall, electricity demand is estimated to have picked up in August, although electricity generation in the second fortnight of August was below the levels seen in the second fortnight of July.
E-way bills generated improved from the previous fortnight, but for the month of August as a whole were below levels seen in July.
Meanwhile, bank credit growth remains sluggish at 5.5% levels.
The number of active Covid-19 cases and deaths continue to rise, with the only solace being some slowdown in the pace of increase in active Covid cases.
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