Economy picks up slightly but may still shrink from last year’s level

If e-way bills generated under the goods and services tax (GST) system are any indication, the economy is slowly picking up. However, it will still take time to grow on a yearly basis.

Since e-way bills relate to the movement of goods, it is a sign that at least the merchandise economy is on a rising curve if the number of such bills generated is increasing. Some 48.4 million e-way bills were generated in July, which was the highest in five months.

But that number is still lower than the February level and that of the year-ago period. (see chart).

Anyone who moves goods worth over Rs 50,000 in a vehicle has to generate e-way bills.

Another supporter of the theory that the economy is slowing moving up is that the yearly SBI Composite Index, which touched the lowest level of 35.9 in June 2020, and increased significantly to 46.0 this July.

chart

While, the monthly index reached the lowest level of 24.0 in April and improved thereafter to 40.5 in July 2020. Based on the index, SBI research projected IIP and IIP, manufacturing to fall 15-18 per cent in June and 5-7 per cent in July.

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