Inflation down to 3.36% : Nothing to be happy about.

27 Feb

In month of August – September 2008 our Inflation stood at 12 % .  The whole media industry went hay wire crying that India is a gonner. That Indian economy is dead and that the government did everything wrong with its monetary policies. Little did they realise that increase inflation was simply cos of the global problems affecting India. The primary reason being that crude oil was almost hitting $ 150 per barrel. 

Now, we have an inflation dip . In the today’s Economic Times article Inflation dips to 14 month low , there is a line which says – and i quote – 

With inflation ceasing to be a major concern, aggressive rate cuts are expected from the Reserve Bank to stimulate the economy.

 

This got me thinking… Are we safe in the inflation front? 

Now, let us visit the fundamental of economics  in a simple way 

Inflation is lots of money chasing very limited goods available in the market. Happens when the shop keepers and distributors and dealers increase the cost of the goods . This an offset of very vibrant, positive and booming economy. Inflation is good to a certain extent but when it crosses a benchmark percentage then it is a problem because it will inevitable affect the common man. 

A deflation is when the reverse happens. When the cost of the goods nosedives to unexpected lows. A clear sign of the economy slowing down and leading to a recession. 

Now that we have checked the economic theories , let get out with the analysis. 

 

When the Economic Times claims that there is nothing to worry about, I will have to disagree on their claims. 

Why ? 

Fear Factor 

Let me explain…

People like you and me are worried about tomorrow. We have a fear that we may not have a job tomorrow when we go to office. So we are saving the money which we earn so that even if we lose job tomorrow  we have enough money to sustain for couple of months till we find a new job. Last year we had dozens of HR people chasing us offering jobs everyday .Today it is the opposite. Even IIM- C Day Zero placements results are dismal by its high standards.

What we dont realize is that when we dont spend money to buy goods , there is no liquidity in the market. When there is no money circulating in the market , the goods remain unsold and hence productions slow down and comes to a grinding halt. This in turn on a macro scale slows down the entire economy. 

This is not a good thing to happen. Because this 3.36% on dip in inflation takes a much worrying scenario of –  Will we go into a deflation? Which is an even more serious issue. 

Had this 3.36% of dip inflation come down in a gradual way , then we may not be so alarmed. Because inflation numbers are always fluctuating in a good economy. It shows movement. It shows dynamism. It is kinetic energy of the economy in play. 

But this is not usual circumstances because of global economic crisis

 India cannot go into a recession. Our economic fundamentals are not build that way. But we can go into a stagnation. NO growth and No Fall . The economy will stagnate . People will keep buying the basic commodities for they day to day living. But they will buy it in lesser quantities at not so regular intervals. 

So you will have your mom will buy 2 apples less than when she usually buys. Your wife will buy spinach once a week. Fish and meat on occasions. Wont renew your gym, magazine subscriptions. Cut back on all spending, basically. So you have buying at a slower pace. Neither here nor there. 

The US economy is no where near on a comeback trail. 40% of US treassuries is with China and Japan and even they are having a major economy problem. So , the fear of job loss, the fear of unstability is going to be there for a long time. 

Hence dont be surprised when inflation further dips to 2 % and 1 % . But I hope at least then news media like Economic Times and Business Line wont take things lightly. 

What is the cure?

3.36% is something to be worried about.

Therefore banks should take cue from the govt stimulus policies and start lending more to consumers. For that to happen RBI should crack the whip with more stern actions on the banks which don’t take advantage of the stimulus packages and other monetary policies regulated recently. ICICI bank did a good job on fixing the 10% interest rate on lending last week. More such steps should be taken by  other banks as well.

Citizens should start spending more and try to buy more of  Indian products. This will in turn increase domestic demand and breath life in to Indian industries and reduce dependency on exports. Will help in the fiscal scenario as well! 

And the government can also take measures to increase the consumer confidence by releasing ads in print , tv and radio . A kind of awareness program.

Hope this post helps in sorting out issues on the inflation worries.

Drop in your comment if you agree of disagree on this.

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One Response to “Inflation down to 3.36% : Nothing to be happy about.”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. The Fear of Deflation in Indian Economy « fighting dreamer - March 20, 2009

    […] Feb27th of 2009 I had posted a blog  Inflation down to 3.36%. Nothing to be happy about.  This blog was posted when 3.36% inflation figures were released by the […]

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