India on path of economic recovery? E-way bills, electricity usage, payments rise in September

India is reporting a daily increase in the number of confirmed cases averaging above 95,000 per day.

Even while India continues to see a surge in coronavirus cases, the economy may be on a path of recovery as indicated by an increase in e-way bills, electricity consumption and payments data in September. “We continue to see incremental improvement in high-frequency indicators. Daily average e-waybills were higher in the second week of September, compared to the previous week and August figures,” a Kotak Institutional Equities report said on Friday, adding that with the electricity consumption gap turning negative again, India consumed more electricity in the past week as compared to the same period in 2019. 

Further, payments data and import duty collection also continue to be strong in September. UPI and IMPS transactions have been encouraging too. NETC FASTag transactions also reported a spike on a week-on-week basis. In fact, the daily average NETC FASTag transactions in September were higher than February 2020 daily average, the month when the economy was running as usual. 

Among other indicators, Maharashtra daily average property registrations in September crossed the figures of March 2020 daily average and were equal to February 2020. Railway freight volume also continued to be up in September as against August figures. 

While certain indicators show a rebound, India is still doing poorly as compared to other countries. “A cross-country comparison of Google mobility data (Exhibits 30-32) over a select set of countries shows that the recovery in India lags behind recovery in most countries,” the Kotak report said. With the exception of the Philippines, India’s economic recovery to normalcy seems to be lagging behind every other other country in terms of excess time spent at residence while visits to retail stores and recreational places remain low as people continue to be skeptical of going to the public places.

 Meanwhile, India is reporting a daily increase in the number of confirmed cases averaging above 95,000 per day. The number of active cases crossed a million recently. Pune, Bengaluru, Mumbai and Thane are among the districts with the largest absolute increase in the number of new cases.

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