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Most Indians optimistic about economy, says poll

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New Delhi, Dec 31, 2019-

Indians continue to have positive views of the nation’s economy even though the growth parameters have plummeted to six-year lows and unemployment and price rise continue to affect common citizens, according to IANS-CVOTER State of the Nation Poll 2020.

A majority of the public, 62 per cent, say that economic conditions of the world’s fifth largest economy would recover and perform better in 2020 over the conditions that prevailed in 2019. The overall mood of people seems upbeat as they welcome the dawn of the new year with renewed hope and positivity.

On the other hand, only 23.5 per cent of the surveyed people feel that the economy would turn worse, while 14.5 per cent do not see any change going forward, showed the poll.

Yashwant Deshmukh of CVOTER said that although majority of the people are optimistic about the way things are moving on the economic front, they are concerned about rising inflation and unemployment. “Government will need to address these two issues to keep the optimism alive,” he said.

On price rise, about 34.2 per cent of the people surveyed felt that things would improve in 2020, but a majority 46.8 per cent felt that things may get worse from here on. Already the country is facing the heat of high prices of onions while inflation in other food items remain at high levels.

Though the poll has indicated some pressure points in the economy, the mood remains upbeat with majority of people holding the view that overall the state of India would only improve in the new year.

People have remained optimistic despite country’s GDP growth rate for the quarter-ended September falling to 4.5 per cent, the slowest in around six years. Also, the unemployment rate is at 45-year high pointing towards jobless growth. In all these, what is pinching the day-to-day activity of people is rising prices of food items.

With the second quarter GDP slipping to a six-year low, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in its December monetary policy meet also cut GDP growth forecast for the current fiscal to 5 per cent.

International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) Chief Economist Gita Gopinath earlier in December said that IMF would significantly revise downwards the estimate for India’s growth in January. IMF currently projects India to grow at 6.1% in 2019 and 7% in 2020.

During her recent visit to India, she had said that some high frequency indicators do not show an increase in India’s growth in the third and fourth quarters as was anticipated earlier.

“Our expectation was that the first two quarters of fiscal 2019-20 would be a slowing scenario and then there would be an uptick in the third and fourth quarter. Looking at some of the high frequency indicators we are not seeing the kind of uptick we were projecting, so this is why I mentioned that we will be revising the numbers again in January,” Gopinath said.

Several sectors of the economy, ranging from retail, infrastructure, power, automobile have witnessed a massive slowdown in the past one year, and there are lurking concerns of a recession in the economy.

Although the government has come up with a slew of measures in the past few months and has tried to increase the flow of liquidity into the sytem, the impact of the measures have not so far reflected well on the subdued economy.  (Agency)

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