Business activity continues to rise, now well above pre-pandemic levels: Report


MUMBAI: Business resumption activity continued its northward journey and reached a new high, much above the pre-pandemic levels for the week ended August 29, a Japanese brokerage said on Monday.
The Nomura India Business Resumption Index rose to 102.7 for the week ending 29 August from 101.3 in the prior week, as per the brokerage.
The index, which compared business activity with the pre-pandemic levels of March 2020, had fallen steeply during the two waves of infections, which were accompanied by lockdowns.
Nomura said the index increased by 5.6 percentage points (pp) in August 2021, after 17.1 pp in July and 15 pp in June.
For the week ended August 29, Google retail and recreation and Apple driving indices rose by 0.6 pp and 10 pp, respectively, although workplace mobility surprisingly fell by 3.7 pp.
Power demand rose by 0.1 per cent as compared to the previous week, while the labour participation rate inched up to 40.8 per cent from 40 per cent.
There is, however, a mixed set of news on new infections, it said, pointing out that the 7-day moving average (MA) of cases rose by 9,200 from last week to 41,000, although this deterioration was led by Kerala. It warned that a potential third wave “cannot be ruled out” given the impending festive season.
On the other hand, the vaccination pace has risen to 7.1 million doses per day (7-day MA) from 4.7 million a week back, it said, adding that if this pace sustains, India would be on track to fully vaccinate roughly 50 per cent of the population by end-2021.
GDP growth will sequentially rebound in the September quarter, the brokerage said, maintaining its above-consensus GDP growth forecast of 10.4 per cent in FY22.


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