The COVID-19 (C19) crisis has led to significant human and economic losses.

Globally, more than 980k lives have succumbed to the pandemic, and livelihoods of millions have been hit hard. According to the World Bank, the pandemic could push 100mn into poverty, while the International LabourOrganisation (ILO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) estimate child labour to ramp up by millions. Consensus is that the 2020 global recession is expected to be the biggest since WW II, edging past the 2009 global financial crisis (GFC).

India has surpassed 5.5mn confirmed cases (second in the world) and reported over 90k deaths. The RBI expects growth to turn negative in FY2020-21 even as fiscal stimulus kicks in (the Atmanirbhar package announced in May is expected to pump $277bn into the economy).

Through this chartbook, the Acuity macro team will track the Indian economy (covering the impact and recovery) in a series of fortnightly publications.

Mobility came to a standstill

The main goal of the lockdown was to cut mobility so as to limit and delay the outbreak

Offline to online

With over 1.3bn people under lockdown, online businesses thrived while other activities suffered

Meltdown of markets and trade

Markets remain volatile while companies face existential crisis. On the external front, trade continues to suffer

Collapse of sentiment and job market

Pandemic-related uncertainty led to an erosion of sentiment. With employment situation turning grim, the unemployment rate soared

Fiscal stimulus – the necessary evil

A downturn in activity forced the government to announce measures to revive the economy despite constraints

Bleak outlook

The damage caused by the pandemic resulted in frequent forecast revisions even as downside risks persist

The 3 W’s and H of data

What is it/what’s in it?
  • Chart the Indian economy through the lockdown/unlock phases while it struggles to control the outbreak and contain the economic impact
  • Illustrations to showcase the impact on the economy during the various phases of the lockdown/unlock time periods using
    • High frequency data
    • Leading indicators
    • Macroeconomic variables
  • Publish macro and alternative datasets and insights on a fortnightly basis to track the economic recovery
Why now?
  • Relevant to track the impact on various sectors of the economy with rise in the number of C19 cases
  • A guide for those looking for direction as official data for various macroeconomic indicators comes with a lag
For whom is this research?
  • Financial analysts:
    • Fund managers
    • Equity analysts
    • Portfolio managers
    • Economists
  • Those looking for a collation of information in one place, saving time and effort
  • Someone who is not a business insider (with limited knowledge) looking for a quick update on the C19 impact during lockdown/unlock phases in India
How does it help?
  • Ready-to-use macro and alternative datasets in one place (click here to receive fortnightly updates) avoiding hundreds of hours required in data aggregation and validation
  • A unique representation of various high frequency proxy indicators help gauge economic uncertainty
  • Easy-to-read charts that cover all lockdowns/unlock phases since the start of the pandemic
Subscribe for FREE fortnightly updates and save time on data collection and validation

The story is far from over

Unlike other major countries, India is yet to peak in terms of total cases. A series of lockdowns (pre-emptive + extended) and unlock phases has only delayed the inevitable and, in an increased uncertain environment, a second wave of the outbreak/reinfections will be a double whammy for economic growth.

India’s growth had started to lose steam before the pandemic –manufacturing barely grew in FY2019 while services growth slowed down. The situation worsened with the pandemic striking all channels of economic growth, hitting the weakest link first.

Overall, India faces a lot of challenges, on both domestic and global fronts (including geopolitical tensions). As the government and the central bank fight the devil head on, the battle with the pandemic rages on.

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Our authors

Archana Anumula

Assistant Director, Specialised Solutions

Rishi Mondal

Senior Associate, Specialised Solutions

Archana Anumula

Assistant Director, Specialised Solutions

Archana has over 13 years of experience in economics research, with proficiency in writing country-specific economic reports, covering real-time macroeconomic indicator releases, and building and maintaining large datasets. She has been with Acuity Knowledge Partners (Acuity) since 2011. Currently, she manages the Cross-Asset Research Support team providing sell-side research support for a global investmentbanking firm. She is adept at managing accounts and teams and handling pilot projects. Prior to joining Acuity, Archana worked in the research division at UBS ISC (currently Cognizant) and at Infosys BPO. She holds a Master of Arts (Economics) and a Bachelor of Commerce from Bangalore University, India.

Rishi Mondal

Senior Associate, Specialised Solutions

Rishi Mondal has 5 years of experience in economics research including 4 years at Acuity Knowledge Partners (Acuity). His expertise spans the macroeconomics domain, focusing on the Indian/UK/global economies, geopolitics and FX volatility. At Acuity, he is part of the Cross-Asset Research Support team, specialising in high-frequency data tracking and macroeconomics research. Rishi holds a Master of Science in Economics from the University of Calcutta, India.

Please email us at macro@acuitykp.com to leave feedback or for any enquiries.