From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : NA
Mains level : Prospectus on Indian economy
- India’s general elections, scheduled for 2024, will also bring in their wake high-pitched rhetoric and spin-doctoring to further muddy the waters. In short, buckle up because the next 12 months promise a flurry of conflicting signals and a rather bumpy ride. A perspective on Indian economy in 2023.
Turbulent global situation
- Pandemic plus Ukraine war: One conflicting signal is already staring us in the face, the seemingly doomed future of globalization. Post-Brexit, the covid pandemic and Russia-Ukraine conflict, there are multiple signs indicating retrenchment of globalization.
- Collapse of Supply chains: The collapse of global supply chains due to economic lockdowns has refocused attention towards near-shoring or on-shoring.
- Trade barriers: In an associated move, nations have erected protective trade barriers; both the US and EU are using climate plans to renege on free-trade promises. The end result, reduced global trade.
What are the prospects from international institute?
- BlackRock Investment Institute’s 2023 Global Outlook: Various financial institutions across the globe are trying to wrap their heads around the phenomenon. According to BlackRock Investment Institute’s 2023 Global Outlook, “We see geopolitical cooperation and globalization evolving into a fragmented world with competing blocs.
- Citi’s wealth outlook for 2023: Citi’s wealth outlook for 2023 intoned ominously, as a less globalized, more polarized world presents challenges for investors.
Effect of globalization and policy change by developed economies
- Rising federal rates: As US employment numbers and demand data continue to stay elevated (despite, paradoxically, slowing growth), the Federal Reserve is likely to be unrelenting in its endeavor to bring the inflation rate back to 2%.
- Rise in domestic interest rates: The Fed’s actions will undoubtedly strengthen the dollar further, forcing many central banks across the global economy to raise interest rates in tandem. Interestingly, central banks in emerging economies today face threats to their independence from an external agency and not from the political dispensation at home.
- Increase in food and fuel cost: Beyond interest rates, inflation also travels easily across national boundaries, especially through food and fuel trade. The fractured supply chains and war in Europe have ensured that inflation’s harmful impact might sustain through 2023.
- Omicron variant and travel restrictions: The other undesirable effect of globalization could be the persisting effect of the Omicron variant that has travelled seamlessly from one corner of the world to another. The Indian government has been forced to resume random screening of passengers arriving from different parts of the world to test for the numerous Omicron variants that have witnessed a resurgence in recent times.
- Over-priced equity markets: Indian equity markets have been soaring since early 2020, once the initial shock of the covid pandemic was negotiated. Cross-country comparisons across emerging markets by various valuation indices show the Indian market to be considerably over-priced currently, both relative to its own past performance as well as compared with the rest of the world.
- High retail investors: Interestingly, the market held its own despite foreign portfolio investors (FPI) pulling out money over the past few months. Domestic investment institutions and retail investors are believed to have kept the market valuation up. But below this cheery visage lies a grim reality.
- Worrisome credit records: Sectoral credit deployment data from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) shows credit growth in commercial banks in recent months has been driven by only two segments: non-bank financial companies (NBFCs) and consumer loans.
- High retail borrowings: A large chunk of the NBFC borrowing was also for on-lending to retail borrowers, given tepid industrial credit demand. RBI data for commercial banks shows consumer loans in four categories advances against fixed deposits, advances against shares or bonds, loans against gold jwellery and other personal loans grew by almost 71% between April 2020 and November 2022.
- Loans for equity investments: It is quite likely that a large proportion of these loans have found their way into stock markets; the Nifty-50 index gained close to 118% between April 2020 and November 2022, at a time when FPI investments during the same period witnessed a net inflow of only ₹1,464 crore.
- The year 2023 appears to be very bumpy for economy in general and credit growth and recovery in particular. SEBI and RBI need to protect the retail investors from Ponzi scheme and fake promises of guaranteed returns.
Q. How policy changes in developed economies affects the India’s decision making? Assess the effect of turbulent global situation on credit growth in India.