03 August, 2021

Catch Me If You Can

Consumers are ecstatic, the FM is beaming, the economy is soaring. So, what can spoil it all?

Catch Me If You Can
If Indian consumers are the happiest in the world, can the economy be far behind? Or Finance Minister P. Chidambaram? Or even any of the investment banks and economic research organisations tracking the progress of the economy? Indeed, no. As Chidambaram blithely inaugurates one conference after another with nary a furrow on his brow, buoyed by still-stunning corporate results and their acquisitions, and AC Nielsen's biannual surveys of consumer sentiment which finds Indians consistently topping the charts, the numbers seem to bear him out. "I can't see any abrupt or dramatic slowdown of consumption growth," he exulted, after the Central Statistical Organisation released figures that the Indian economy was kissing China's scorching pace by logging just a decimal point lower than nine per cent—or 8.9 per cent—in April-June, 2006.

The news stunned analysts as even the most optimistic of them had expected a growth of around 8.5 per cent, especially with the RBI trying to curb inflation and overheating of the economy. Its brakes seem to have...

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