Tag Archives: RBI

The Fear of Deflation in Indian Economy

20 Mar

Today’s Economic Times has the screaming article Indian Economy staring at deflation. Is it good news ? in its front page.  Too late .. I have already predicted and reported on this .

On 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 government.

Is it good news ? Of course not. Why should it be ? Think about it. Deflation arises when less money is chasing more products. So the question now comes – Is it that we Indians have no money to buy ?

On the contrary,Indians have the money to invest. How else would you explain record number of new mobile connections sold ? How else will you explain Mercedes selling more cars in India than in most of the so called “‘mature”, “developed”  markets ? How else can you explain the IPL commercial values involved? How else can you explain DTH connections sold in drones in the last 6 months?

So you see , we can safely say that we Indians have the money to spend. What prevents us from spending a lot ( unlike last year) is the fear factor.

France , America, Britian has millions of job loses reported . France had 3 million out on streets protesting against wage cutes and unemployment. How many such rallies have we seen in India? I will let you answer that question.

First, let us accept the accept that the Indian economy clocked 9% G.D.P last year and it was fueled by entrepreneurship . But, unlike our counterparts ,Indians are largely insulated by the bad economic troubles. But true to our risk averse mind set we are saving our money and too scared to invest or buy in indulgence. Therefore , demand is low.

There are 2 ways at looking at it. Positive and Negative. Taking the current discussion under consideration, we are forced to look at the negative reasons. And negative reasons are very scary indeed.

What can be done ?  Two things – Awarness and Proactive solutions by the government and private companies and banks.

Self Awareness from the people is hard to come by. The government representatives should come out and talk directly to the people instead of just giving out talks in press conference . TV news channels can give a good coverage by inviting top brass to address people directly.

Address the Nation : When was the last the time we actually sat in front of the TV and listened to Presidential speech on the eve of Independence day ? Be honest about it .. But , this is the right time for Ministry of Finance, Planning Commission, RBI head to directly to the people. We should also have business icons and thought leaders like Naryana Mooorthy, Sam Pitroda, Sunil Mittal, Sachin Tendulkar, Dhoni, and writers , celebrities talk directly to the people. The idea is to instil confidence and security to the people.

Go Vernacular : Talking in high jargon filled English is not gonna do the trick. The biggest curse of India is that we have not been able to permeate the growth of the economy to the villages. Few people realise that villages, tier 2 and 3 cities hold the key to super power status of India. They may not be English educated but they have spending power. And like Unilever’s CEO Mr Paul said in a interview , ” We will have to drive people’s habits” . Very True!

But talk to people in their language.

Start spending but in a controlled way . Educate, Empower and set example and spread the word. Be a thought leader yourself. Ask your friends to spend but not in excess. Try to include Indian products in your grocery. This will fuel domestic economy and also in the long term make us a potential market and make it more investor friendly .

Simple things are can go a long way. You dont have to be a Chief Economist to drive change.

Just a thought : We should stop IMF and S&P500 and other agency give investor ratings during recession. Otherwise people are gonna reach such stats and go into a shell and reduce spending and brakes the FDI’s.

Fiscal Policy : Are we planning to go into a recession?

26 Feb

I want you guys  to read the article Wrong Doctor, wrong treatment from the editorial of the Business Line and give it a serious thought. 

But i must caution that if you are not a keen follower of economic policies happening in India and across the world then you will not be able to grasp the real concept behind what the author is trying to convey in the article. Written in clear and simple words the author of the article is wondering if tthe Govt going dangerously wrong in itr fiscal and monetary policy. 

I personally think there is a element of  merit in the arguments put forth in the article. 

Are we trying to spend the money which we dont have ? Is it not similar to what happened in America in between 1993 and 2007 , the effect of which is now seen as the economic recession now. So, are we getting the wrong economics right in the wrong propotions? 

Are we spending more than what we should be spending ? Are we taking the fiscal problem in a lighter sense ? 

I dont care what economist you believe in . I personally go for Keynesian . Always have. But you may be a Friedman fan for all I care.

But today’s economic situation is so differenent in its scale and scope that I am willing to let go of Keynesian theories and embrace which will work and sound logic from an development prespective. 

I implore you guys to read the article . 

Please drop in your queries, doubts, ideas, thoughts so we can have a sensible discussion this and take it forward.

Also read my post on Is India still in recession to understand what is happeining to our economy.

Is India still in recession ?

14 Dec

If you Google this topic you are going to get numerous answers with some mind boggling stats to tell you that India is into recession or slowly moving into it.

I am going to give you a different opinion altogether! I don’t believe even for one second that India is into recession. In fact I will take the “audacity of hope” as my tool to declare that India wont even go close to recession.
You may argue back saying , “dude! don’t you read newspapers or watch news ? did you not check the IIP stats? The numbers are negative man! Our sensex has taken a complete nose-dive. People are loosing their jobs left-right and center. and you still think India is not into recession or moving into it?” ..

I stick by what I just said .You see, India is having a spill over effect of a global recession. And it is that spill over effect that is causing these job loss spree. But compared to our western counterparts Indian companies are not giving out the pink slips in droves. No Sir!

Tell you why …

First , India is not a globalized economy. That is , India is not completely globalized like European countries, Japan and China.

Second , India was already facing a huge inflation problem when the sub-prime crisis (which triggered the global meltdown) started . By the way, Indian lending laws are so stringent and fundamentally strong that , our country cannot just go into sub-prime like crisis at all. We Indians are firm believers in saving money and spending in thrift. So dont worry.. India wont go into a sub prime crisis.

Finally, India’s growth story is not due to any external factors . nay.. India’s growth story is completely domestic driven. The so called middle class income expansion is not just coming from IT and ITES services (which is prone to global imbalances) alone. India is a huge growth engine moving forward in all factors. Our business honchos, policy makers made sure that India and its currency stays as much immune from global currencies as possible.That is why , India is not seeing an companies going bankrupt. How else would you explain ICICI, HDFC and other banks flourishing so well when banks from other parts of the global are going bankrupt? come on .. tell me .. why ?

So how can we explain the negative stats of IIP . Just for the perspective. Our numbers are like  -0.4% as compared to 12.2% last year. This is primary because of decline in exports and fear factor among Indians.Did you know that in theory a recession in the rich world should hurt India less than other emerging markets: exports amount to only about 22% of India’s GDP, against 37% of China’s.

Read the real story of numbers here : Negative show: Industrial output contracts in October.  Read the complete article please.

China is making massive money from it exports like hell because they make goods a rock bottom prices due to availability of cheap labour.

Allow me to explain…

Let us take the example of a manufacturing firm of foreign origin/ or even Indian origin which produces 2000units of its products. 100o units for exports and the other 1000 units for domestic consumption. The company shall be termed X. Let us focus on export units – 1000 nos . Due to the global financial problem people in the other side of the globe don’t have enough money to buy the  products of the company X which they usually do.This would mean the products earmarked for shipments remain unsold in warehouses thereby increasing the inventory. Now, the companies get money only after the products are shipped to the other side and bought by consumers. The money/income thus received is then used to pay for the labour involved, raw materials, profits taken and then a huge chunk is put back into the company to produce more of such products for exports again.

Are you with me ?

Good.. So , when there is no money to re invest , obviously the company wont be able to produce any more goods. Also, the manufacturers will be cautious to use the reserve surplus to manufacture more goods because the economic outlook is bleak.  Eventually and in the long run when there is no enough money to pay, people are shown the door.

Meanwhile, even if we Indians have enough money to spend , we will suddenly check the global scenario and a friend will advice to his colleague , “damn, see US and Europe is into recessions, people are losing jobs.. and that India guy who studied in IIT and such a rich fellow . He killed his family and committed suicide cos of bad debts. Maybe we should be careful now . If  such big big countries can have problems ..how soon do you think we will get into trouble like that . Let us be careful now, yaar! Who knows when we will lose our jobs? Let us save now . We can spend when time are good . ”

Wife will advice her husband , ” listen, don’t buy too much from the stores , ok? We will manage . I saw TV news about the finance problem. And i heard from my mom that her friend’s son lost his job . Did you check the share market points today ? It was down and in red for the whole day , yesterday. We have enough for next 2 days . Just buy little “, and for the first time she will use the word budget … ” Let us have a budget from next month, ok ? ” … Sensex, Budget are words which are new to her dictionary..

Mom will catuion her son/daughter ( who  just joined a firm fresh out of college) , ” Listen, don’t go out too much with friends and waste your salary on movies , clothes or jewellery. Manage with what you have. and beta .. don’t resign or jump jobs. When you get the first salary. Give half to me, I will put in your savings. Don’t buy that bike now. Intrest rates are high . Buy it after 6 months “…

The panic button is on and the story goes on …

Media will use the panic to give you more sensational news from abroad and get you more worried.. It is cyclic..

We start saving a lot more than we should. Hence,money gets stagnated .

When you don’t buy stuff how are you going to give money back to the manufactures to produce more? If they dont have enough to produce, how are they going to pay your salary? When they don’t have enough money to pay your salary ,cos of no work getting done , why do you expect them to pay you for nothing and not ask you to leave?

Simple right?

So, as you see .. the story is we get sentimental and extra cautious when we hear the news around us .

Don’t do that ..!

Check not the news .. check the real facts . Check real information released by the government and listen to well known business industry leaders.

The India Finance Ministry with RBI under the leadership of Dr Manmohan Singh and Deputy Planning Commissioner Montek singh Ahluwalia is doing a good job. The steps taken as of now ( with two stimulus package and petrol price reduction) is showing signs . Inflation has come down. The full impact is yet to be seen. A third stimulus package is on the cards. So relax.. Our policy makers are much better than our counterparts in other parts of the world.

India is having spill over effect. Not a recession. True , our economy has slowed down. From an extremely robust GDP growth of 8-9% we now predict 6% . But that would still make our country one of the fastest growing economy in the world. Only India from the so called BRIC (Brazil,Russia,India,China) nations is faring well compared to others.

But remember in economics and finance, as in other aspects of life the rule still holds water – What goes down should come up. And what comes up , should definitely go down” . Be it Sensex, economy, failure, success, happiness, sadness, love, hatred ..  You can just play the game of the gods..

As one great poet cum dramatist so aptly put ” the world is stage …. ”

I realize this is a very long post. Might be boring for some. But I have tried to put facts and my thoughts in a very simple way. I am no economist and will gladly accpet that I am wrong if proved so ..

I welcome your suggestions and ask those who read to spread the word around if you see merit in my opinions.

Also, check this article,China and India : Suddenly vulnerable , from Economist on what they think about the effects of global recession on India and China.