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Finally some good news, business activity picks up sharply in June

Source: PTI
June 14, 2021 23:24 IST
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Calibrated reopening of the economy by states as the number of fresh COVID-19 cases subside increased mobility and aided in a fast-paced increase in an index of business resumption last week, a Japanese brokerage said on Monday.

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IMAGE: Daily wage workers at Bara Tooti Chowk, New Delhi, ahead of market reopening as part of government's order of gradual unlocking of COVID-induced restrictions. Photograph: Shahbaz Khan/PTI Photo

The Nomura India Business Resumption Index rebounded to 76 for the week ended June 13, up from the preceding week's 67.9, a note from the brokerage said.

The pre-pandemic value of the index is set at 100.

 

The index had risen consistently after the national lockdown of 2020, to almost to the pre-pandemic level in March but the second wave of the pandemic had led to multiple weeks of decline in the index.

"Much of this (increase in week to June 13) can be explained by the strong revival in mobility indicators, as states have begun a calibrated reopening, with Google mobility indices, the Apple Driving Index, and daily railway passenger revenues all rising," the brokerage said.

The recovery in the non-mobility side has been "more gradual", it said, adding that daily railway freight revenues have been rising slowly, GST E-way bills in the first week of June are at higher levels than during the first week of both April and May but lower than the January and February average.

Similarly, power demand continues to recover, picking up by 4.9 per cent week-on-week on a seasonally adjusted basis for the week ending June 13, after a 7.6 per cent gain the previous week.

The labour participation rate inched up to 39.8 per cent from 39.2 per cent the previous week, with the unemployment rate dropping to a still-elevated 8.7 per cent.

From a growth perspective, it said the rebound in activity will aid a sequential increase in the economy's expansion rate but it will remain weak compared to pre-second wave levels.

A key downside risk being monitoring is a potential flare-up of cases as lockdowns are progressively eased, it added.

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