Business activity at highest levels since pandemic began as more people go to work: Report

An increase in driving to workplace resulted in the overall business activity surging to an all-time high of 14 percentage points (pp) higher than the pre-pandemic levels last week, a report said on Monday.

The weekly Nomura India Business Resumption Index (NIBRI), which compares activity in a particular week with the last week prior to the announcement of the lockdowns in March 2020, came at 114 for the seven days ended Sunday, up from 110.3 in the prior week.

Google workplace mobility rose sharply by 18.1 pp, while retail and recreation fell by 3.3 pp and the Apple driving index rose by 3.6 pp, the Japanese brokerage said.

The labour participation rate remained tepid at 39.8 per cent, while power demand rose 0.2 per cent over the last week, after the 5.5 per cent rise in prior week.

The overall growth outlook is “obscured” by demand tailwinds and supply-side headwinds, the brokerage said.

It maintained the 9.2 per cent GDP growth estimate for FY22 but added that there is a downside risk of one per cent because of supply-side issues.

Noting that the energy crunch is easing, it said the supply-side issues emanate from the auto sector.

“October auto sales have been lacklustre, reflecting not only semiconductor shortages but also the impact of weak rural demand on two-wheeler sales,” it said.



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