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Economic Downturn, Policy Making and Recovery in India

Published in the Economic Times

In the last two decades, we have made some progress in understanding business cycles, both in emerging as well as developed economies. One key difference is that in the former, the ‘path’ of the economy itself can shift, while, in the latter, the economy reverts to the mean trend. This implies that in a country like India, the mean growth can increase or decrease for a relatively long time. Indeed, that has been our experience: around 5% growth rate in 1997, above 6% in 2002, then above 8% in 2004. It stayed above 8% till 2009, after which it came down and stayed between 6% and 8%, until recently, when the trend went below 6% — for the first time since 2002. This is significant, since even though in certain quarters the growth rate fell below 6%, the trend has always remained above that for almost two decades.

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