Economic Indicators and Various Reports On It- GDP, FD, EODB, WIR etc

World Economic Outlook (WEO) Report by IMF


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: World Economic Outlook (WEO), IMF

Mains level: Impact of COVID on employment and economic growth

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has unveiled its 2nd World Economic Outlook (WEO) Report.

About WEO Report

  • The WEO is a report by the IMF that analyzes key parts of the IMF’s surveillance of economic developments and policies in its member countries.
  • It also projects developments in the global financial markets and economic systems.
  • The report comes out twice every year — April and October.
  • It is based on a wide set of assumptions about a host of parameters — such as the international price of crude oil — and set the benchmark for all economies to compare one another with.

Key takeaways from the October 2021 WEO

  • The central message was that the global economic recovery momentum had weakened due to the pandemic-induced supply disruptions.
  • It is the increasing inequality among nations that IMF was most concerned about.
  • The dangerous divergence in economic prospects across countries remains a major concern.

Reasons for the slowdown

There are two key reasons:

  1. Large disparities in vaccine access
  2. Differences in policy support

What about Employment?

Ans. There is a lag.

  • Employment around the world remains below its pre-pandemic levels.
  • This reflects a mix of negative output gaps, worker fears of on-the-job infection in contact-intensive occupations, childcare constraints, labour demand changes due to automation etc.
  • The main concern is the gap between recovery in output and employment which is likely to be larger in emerging markets and developing economies than in advanced economies.
  • Further, young and low-skilled workers are likely to be worse off than prime-age and high-skilled workers, respectively.

Implications for India

Ans. Reduce India’s growth momentum

  • IMF has suggested that India’s economic recovery is gaining ground.
  • Some sectors such as the IT-services sectors have been practically unaffected by Covid, while the e-commerce industry is doing brilliantly.
  • However, the recovery in unemployment is lagging the recovery in output (or GDP).
  • This matters immensely for India as it reflects jobless growth.
  • India was already facing a deep employment crisis before the Covid crisis, and it became much worse after it.
  • Lack of adequate employment levels would again drag down overall demand and affect the growth momentum.

Threats to growth momentum

  • Usual unemployment: Even before the pandemic, India already had a massive unemployment crisis.
  • Sector-wise recovery: India is witnessing a K-shaped recovery. That means different sectors are recovering at significantly different rates.
  • Unorganized sector: A weak recovery for the informal/unorganized sectors implies a drag on the economy’s ability to create new jobs or revive old ones.
  • Contact-based services: Such services which can create many more jobs, are not seeing a similar bounce-back.

How informal is India’s economy?

  • A NSO report titled ‘Measuring Informal Economy in India’ gives a detailed account of informal Indian economy.
  • It shows the share of different sectors of the economy in the overall Gross Value Added and the share of the unorganised sector therein.
  • The share of informal/unorganised sector GVA is more than 50% at the all-India level, and is even higher in certain sectors.
  • It creates a lot of low-skilled jobs such as construction and trade, repair, accommodation, and food services.

This is why India is more vulnerable.


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