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THE GREAT INDIAN LOCKDOWN

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For a country like India, the COVID-19 story is far from over. Though COVID-19 cases are yet to peak in the country, a series of lockdowns and staggered ‘unlock’ phases have already made a deep impact on the economy. Even as the Indian government and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) continue to fight the pandemic-led economic challenges, consensus is that growth contraction in 2020 is inevitable.

In this chartbook, we assess a mix of macro and alternative data to help understand the impact of COVID-19 on the economy through easy-to-read illustrations that cover various phases of the lockdown and the ‘unlock’. It also offers a unique representation of various high-frequency proxy indicators to gauge the economic uncertainty.

Acuity Knowledge Partners’ Macro team will track developments in the Indian economy (covering the impact and recovery) in a series of fortnightly publications.

Key Takeaways:
  • Restrictions imposed by the government delayed the spread of the infection, but the total number of cases regained momentum once restrictions were lifted
  • With over 1.3bn people under lockdown, online businesses thrived, while other (offline) activities suffered
  • The pandemic-led uncertainty damaged the economic fabric; unemployment rate soared, trade contracted, and financial markets melted on poor investor sentiment
  • Both the government and the RBI announced measures to revive the economy amid increasing geopolitical tensions