Despite Omicron, India's Economic Activity Remains Strong: RBI Report

An RBI report has said that Omicron may turn out to be more of a flash flood than a wave


India’s overall economic activity remains strong, driven by an upbeat consumer confidence and uptick in bank credit¬†and most importantly, on expectations that Omicron may turn out to be a “flash flood rather than a wave”, have further brightened the prospects, Reserve Bank of India¬†(RBI) has noted in its bulletin for January 2022.

“On the vaccination front, India has made rapid strides. On the Omicron variant, the recent data from the UK and South Africa suggest that such infections are 66 to 80 per cent less severe, with a lower need for hospitalisation,” the article on the state of economy published in the RBI Bulletin said.

Amidst upbeat consumer and business confidence and an uptick in bank credit, aggregate demand conditions stay resilient while on the supply front, rabi sowing has exceeded last year’s level and the normal acreage, it noted.

Noting that manufacturing and several categories of services remain in expansion, the article said, adding that “overall economic activity in India remains strong, with upbeat consumer and business confidence and upticks in several incoming high frequency indicators”.

“Expectations that Omicron may turn out to be more of a flash flood than a wave have brightened near-term prospects,” it said.

The central bank said the views expressed in the article are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the RBI.

There are indications that supply chain disruptions and shipping costs are slowly easing, although the waning of inflation may take longer. This provides a window of opportunity to focus all energies on accelerating and broadening the global recovery, the article said.

It also said that data for early January 2022 (up to January 12) indicate growth in digital payments, although the recent surge in infections “may pose a concern going forward”. Nevertheless, the payment industry is expected to display resilience owing to availability of varied checkout options and rising digital.

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