July , 2021
Economy treads cautiously optimistic on pent-up demand: ASSOCHAM
18:23 pm

B.E. Bureau


After a tough first quarter, the Indian economy is finding demand back on the back of a strong level of activities in construction related business, consumer durables like air-conditioners, refrigerators and other electrical gadgets and rural segments of the fast-moving consumer goods. Even domestic travel and tourism is witnessing an unleash of pent-up demand, giving a pleasant surprise, as per ASSOCHAM assessment.

ASSOCHAM Secretary General Deepak Sood said, “Although, hazarding a guess in the middle of a global pandemic is not desirable, last two-three weeks have been quite encouraging in terms of unlocking of Covid-19 restrictions in most of the states, leading to restoration of trade, pick-up in industrial activities and inventory going down.”

Sood added, “While we remain as anxious as all right-thinking citizens about visible lapses in the Covid appropriate behaviour, some of popular travel destinations for summer months are witnessing rush of tourists. We cannot afford to have another wave of pandemic and must do all it takes to prevent it.”

The ASSOCHAM feedback also suggests that construction activities which were suspended from the middle of April have resumed in several sectors like road building, repairs and maintenance and residential projects. “Average city dwellers, especially in the upper middle class and affluent segments have taken up their pending construction and repair or up-gradation of their homes. The Work from Home (WFH), which is being increasingly adopted across different sectors, has created additional demand for furniture and fixtures at homes, including computer hardware.”

Despite increase in the fuel prices, the use of private vehicles over public transport is adding to the fuel consumption, while the automobile production and sale remains constrained by external issues like global shortages of microchips and semi-conductors.

According to Sood, “What gives us a great relief is that the informal sectors, which remain the lifeline of the economy and the people, are returning. We feel reassured when we see masons, electricians, car mechanics, or roadside eateries coming back. Eventually, the informal sector seeps in and gels well with the formal economy, giving us the kind of growth needed for meeting the national aspiration.”

He said while inflation remains a sore point, things should ease with Monsoon becoming active in most parts of India.

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