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India’s Economic Malaise May Be Far Worse Than It Looks (Wall Street Journal)

November 18, 2019

From the article:

"India’s economy is growing at the slowest pace in six years, according to official figures. That data is likely to be disguising an even sharper slowdown.

The country has been gripped by a credit crisis this year as lenders outside traditional banking have defaulted and retrenched under government pressure.

Investors are used to hearing about suspicious economic data from India’s larger neighbor to the northeast. But last month, economists at the Center for Global Development, a Washington-based think tank, drew attention to the growing inconsistency between several already-recessionary Indian economic indicators and its headline growth rate.

Updates for several economic indicators have only worsened since its publication. Non-oil imports were 12.3% lower in September than a year earlier. Industrial production and sales tax revenue fell 4.3% and 2.7% respectively over the same period.

According to an article by India’s Business Standard newspaper last week, an unreleased government report showed that the country’s per capita consumption levels fell between the 2011-12 and 2017-18 fiscal years, the first such decline in four decades, driven by a decline in rural demand. The government announced Friday that the report wouldn’t be released, suggesting the data wasn’t of a high enough quality..."

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Co-Director of Education Policy and Senior Fellow