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India Economics Weekly

Domestic needs limit prospects for vaccine exports

India is planning to resume exporting COVID-19 vaccines from October, which should help to further boost the trade position. But with vaccination coverage still low, the domestic vaccine rollout will continue to take priority. Vaccine shipments from India therefore won’t be enough to shift the needle for rollouts in other poor EMs.

24 September 2021

India Chart Book

Global index inclusion would marginally boost bonds

Speculation is building that India will be included in major global bond indices over the next year or so. If that happens, it would highlight the local bond market’s growing maturity and be cast as a coup by the government, for which bond index inclusion has long been a stated policy aim. With vast amounts of assets tracking global indices, this would leave scope for a rise in portfolio inflows. To be clear, with India’s weighting in any global index likely to be small and increased only gradually, the impact is more likely to be marginal than transformational. Nevertheless, bond index inclusion would still bolster our view that, supported by a commitment from the RBI to keep policy very accommodative, Indian bond yields should only rise very slightly over the next 18 months even in an environment of higher US Treasury yields.   Drop-In: Evergrande – What are the risks to China and the world? Chief Asia Economist Mark Williams and Senior China Economist Julian Evans-Pritchard will be joined by Senior Markets Economist Oliver Jones to take your questions about the Evergrande situation. They’ll be covering the implications of collapse for China’s financial system and growth outlook, and assessing the global markets fallout. Register here for the 0900 BST/1600 HKT session on Thursday, 23rd September.

22 September 2021

India Economics Focus

A dive into the National Infrastructure Pipeline

The Indian government’s aim to significantly ramp up infrastructure investment through its flagship National Infrastructure Pipeline (NIP) has suffered less disruption than might have been expected during the pandemic. That is a positive for long-term growth prospects. But significant headwinds – including the weakness of the banking sector and land acquisition constraints – will prevent the NIP from having a transformational impact on the Indian economy.

20 September 2021

India Economics Weekly

Telecoms lifeline, autos constraints, bank liquidity

India's struggling telecoms firms were thrown a lifeline this week after parliament approved a four-year moratorium on dues owed to the government. One potential consequence is that telecoms firms are required to raise prices in order to lift revenues, which would boost inflation. Meanwhile, global semiconductor shortages have been weighing on India's auto sector, which will prove a headwind to the broader industrial recovery.

17 September 2021

India Economics Update

Three points on banking sector liquidity

Measures by the Reserve Bank to drain banking sector liquidity have caught attention over the past few days. But with liquidity still abundant, interbank rates at the very bottom of the rate corridor and financial conditions exceptionally loose, these measures represent marginal tweaks rather than a tightening of policy.

14 September 2021

India Data Response

Wholesale Prices (Aug.)

Following the weaker-than-expected consumer price inflation data for August released yesterday, headline wholesale price inflation data released today surprised to the upside. But it should resume dropping before long, particularly if commodity prices fall back as we expect. In all, there’s little in the August inflation data to pressure the RBI to start tightening policy.

14 September 2021

India Data Response

Consumer Prices (Aug.)

The drop in India’s consumer price inflation in August was driven by a continued fall in food inflation. We expect a broader easing in price pressures to bring headline inflation further below the 6% upper limit of the RBI’s target range over the coming months, so we remain comfortable with our view that policy rates will be kept on hold for a while longer.

13 September 2021

India Economics Weekly

Vaccine rollout accelerates, MSP hikes muted

India’s vaccine rollout has shifted into a higher gear over the past couple of weeks, but the slow start means that it would still take several months before a large majority of the population is fully vaccinated. Meanwhile, the annual Minimum Support Price increases for winter crops announced by the government this week are small and will only have a limited impact on both rural wage and food inflation.

10 September 2021

India Economics Update

Implications of a weak monsoon

This year’s monsoon has so far been weaker than usual. This won’t have as big an economic impact as it would have a couple of decades ago. But it will harm employment and energy production. Some comfort can be taken from the fact that food inflation is likely to remain anchored even if the monsoon rains do remain low, which should allow the RBI to keep policy loose.

7 September 2021

India Data Response

Services & Composite PMI (Aug.)

The sharp rises in India’s services and composite PMI readings in August support our view that the economy has staged a strong rebound in Q3. But downside risks remain significant as the threat of further virus waves continues to loom.

3 September 2021

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