Ahead of the festive season, there are signs of improved consumer confidence in several key sectors of the economy, including contact services like hospitality while activities in construction and renovation have been on a pick-up for the past few months leading to return of migrant workers for gainful deployment, an ASSOCHAM assessment has noted.
“Our feedback from our member companies, including those in the SMEs points towards steady pick-up in economic activities with notable gains visible in retail trading, malls, food business and inter-state travel. With most of the states allowing entry of fully vaccinated people without RTPCR tests for Covid-19, the tourist activities have picked up in states like Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan and Goa. Hopefully, the Covid situation would remain under control with a sharp rise in daily vaccination, leading to further pick up in tourist activities in states like Rajasthan and Goa. After a washout of the winter tourist season in Rajasthan and Goa, we expect the ensuing winter to turn for better,” ASSOCHAM assessment note said.
Though on a low base, the Indian economy should close the financial year 2021-22 with a double-digit growth, sustaining the catch-up mode. The bounce back as witnessed during the first quarter of the current fiscal should consolidate into a sustainable trend, going forward.
Sharing the positive feedback, the ASSOCHAM Secretary General, Mr Deepak Sood said, consumer demand is visible and turning into business volumes. “This would be reflected in the second quarter results of corporate India. We should see definite improvement in industries like paints, consumer durables, passenger vehicles and engineering goods.”
As the Union Government along with the state governments of Kerala and Maharashtra are making coordinated efforts to bring the Covid 19 incidence down with a multi-pronged strategy, the overall situation with regard to the pandemic should further ease up. “While the governments, trade and industry are in a far better position to manage and live with the health challenges, further decline in the number of cases would add to the business confidence. However, Covid Appropriate Behaviour (CAB) would remain one of the most important weapons to defeat the pandemic. We in ASSOCHAM have been consistently reaching out to our members for maintaining a constant vigil on their workplace with CAB,” Mr Sood said.
The feedback with the exporters also showed a positive outlook for the current financial year. Exports to Europe, the US and several Asian destinations would definitely look up. Prospects for exports of metal and other engineering goods, textiles, chemicals and agri products appear bright. “While there is a good demand in the developed nations, the issue of concern relates to increasing cost of cargo movement by ship liners. Hopefully, this should play out as the supply bottlenecks are eased.”