Covid Resurgence: Monthly Output Loss Increased in Mid-April

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A resurgence of Covid-19 has changed India’s macroeconomic narrative from being a linear V-shaped recovery in FY22 to being a story of a lost quarter, says Emkay Global in a report.

Accordingly, the report cited that amid the increasing geographical spread of the virus, the bottom-up projections now suggest that for every month of currently localized lockdowns, the output loss would now be Rs 1.25 lakh crore from Rs 75,000 crore as per the restrictions seen in mid-Apr 2021.

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“The fall in secondary and tertiary sector capacity utilization varies between 10 percent and 40 percent among states,” said Madhavi Arora, Lead Economist, Emkay.

She said the estimates imply a monthly loss of GVA growth by 90 basis points compared with a loss of more than 40 basis points in output growth per month during Covid-I lockdown.

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“Clearly, factors such as better adapted firms and policy response, stable financial conditions, vaccine drive, pent-up demand release, and robust global growth spillovers create growth buffers,” she said.

“Assuming Covid-II peaks in May’21 and restrictions ease by Q2FY22, we mark down our FY22 GDP forecast to 9.9 per cent from 11 per cent earlier.”

However, she pointed out that the situation is still in flux. Still, as per current dynamics, the expected Q1FY22 annualized growth is seen at 16.5 percent from more than 22 percent estimated before the second wave.

Their estimated monthly loss of output of 0.9-1 percent of GDP is much higher than the estimated welfare cost of universal vaccination at 0.6-0.7 percent of GDP, making a successful vaccine strategy the cheapest policy path to economic normalization.

Lately, India reported record new daily increases in coronavirus infections, prompting new lockdowns and restrictive measures to curb the spread of the pandemic.

The exponential rise in new coronavirus cases in India is a humanitarian crisis. It also raises concerns about the country’s economic recovery and currency fluctuations.

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