The economy is now going back to normal slowly, say trends

The economy is now going back to normal slowly, say trends

As per the data from Google, the economic activity of the country is now slowly going back to the pre-COVID stage. The latest reports have also shown a rise in mobility trends. 

Google’s COVID-19 Community Mobility Report can map the movement of people across six locations. These include grocery and pharmacy, retail and recreation, parks, residential areas, workplaces, and transport hubs. 

Since June 1, there has been an improvement in activity levels. From 8 June onwards, the country began to unlock its economy. This then led to a rise in economic activity too. 

The country had imposed its strictest and longest lockdown from March 25 onwards. What followed were people staying indoors and factories remaining idle. Now, power generation, vehicle registration, and port activities have gone up, pointing to the reopening of the economy in the country and a hopeful revival from the devastating slump.

Google uses anonymized location data that is collected from the smartphones of people who have turned on their location history to help the public health officials better understand how people’s movements have now changed. 

The report covers 131 countries in all, including ours. 

The reports have set a baseline, which is a median value for every day of the week. The reference for this baseline is between January 3 and February 6. The reports then show how footfalls have changed in the six sectors against the standard baseline. 

As per data, stepping out for groceries, medicines and essential services has now reached pre-COVID levels. Crucial areas like mobility, retail finance, and fuel and electricity are now witnessing a comeback. Thus, with the gradual opening up of the economy, there are some hopes of revival too!

During the lockdown, the country also witnessed its lowest slump in consumption of petroleum products since 2007. This has also sharply recovered now and reached 88 percent last month. The demand for bitumen, which is used for the construction of roads, has also jumped 32 percent this month. 

The overall energy demand, which had gone down, is also returning to pre-COVID levels. In the economy, consumption of energy, especially of refinery products and electricity, is linked to the overall demand of the economy. 

Manufacturing activities have also stabilized, and indirect tax collections have perked up. 

As per the reports, in states where the pandemic has shown its worse impacts, including Maharashtra and Delhi; a visit to grocery stores and pharmacies is still considerably lower when compared to the national average. On the other hand, in states like Himachal Pradesh and Bihar, these activities have reached the pre-pandemic levels. 

Concerns, however, continue to remain. While the economy is reviving, parameters like transport hubs, parks, workplaces, and retail and recreation are still below the baseline, at least for now.