Economy Watch

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Economy Watch provides an in-depth review of salient developments in India’s macroeconomy and economic policy in a global context.
It has established itself as a thought leadership publication, providing valuable inputs for policymakers in the central and state governments, academicians, industry and businesses and other stakeholders.

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Economy Watch was launched for public distribution soon after demonetization. Since then more than 80 issues have been published.

It covers various macro-fiscal dimensions of the Indian economy including growth, inflation, government finances, external trade, monetary and financial sectors. It places India in a comparative economic framework using selected developed and developing countries.

Two innovative indices have been developed to capture changes in aggregate demand and macroeconomic imbalances in the Indian economy. The analysis in the Economy Watch is based on monthly, quarterly and annual data sourced from national and international sources.

Every month, a focused theme of contemporary economic importance is identified for a deep and insightful analysis which provides useful inputs and recommendations.

Key highlights for March 2024
  • Real GDP growth improved to 8.4% in 3QFY24 from 8.1% in 2QFY24. The second advance estimates (SAE) for FY24 show a real GDP growth of 7.6% in FY24, a significant improvement over 7% seen in FY23.
  • In February 2024, manufacturing PMI increased to 56.9, its highest level since September 2023. Services PMI at 60.6 remained above 60 for the second consecutive month sustaining a sharp rate of expansion.
  • IIP growth eased to 3.8% in January 2024, from 4.2% in December 2023 led by lower growth in the output of manufacturing sector.
  • CPI inflation remained flat at 5.1% in February 2024 due to easing of inflation across items accompanied by some uptick in consumer food inflation. Core CPI inflation declined for the eighth successive month to 3.3% in February 2024.
  • WPI inflation remained low at 0.2% in February 2024, close to its level at 0.3% in January 2024.
  • During April-January FY24, GoI’s gross tax revenues (GTR) showed a growth of 14.5%, with growth in direct taxes at 23.6% and that in indirect taxes at 4.5%.
  • GoI’s total expenditure grew by 5.9% during April-January FY24, with growth in capital expenditure at 26.5% and that in revenue expenditure at 1.4%.
  • GoI’s fiscal and revenue deficits during April-January FY24 as a proportion of their annual RE stood respectively at 63.6% and 49.4%.
  • Gross bank credit grew at a strong pace of 16.1% in January 2024 as compared to 15.6% in December 2023.
  • Growth in merchandise exports and imports increased to 11.9% and 12.2% respectively in February 2024, their highest levels since June 2022 and September 2022 respectively, reflecting some pickup in global demand on account of fiscal stimuli especially in the US.
  • Merchandise trade deficit increased slightly to US$18.7 billion in February 2024 from US$17.5 billion in January 2024. Deficit on account of trade of goods and services was at a 31-month low of US$1.3 billion in January 2024.
  • Net FDI turned positive registering inflows amounting to US$5.7 billion in January 2024 as compared to outflows amounting to US$3.9 billion in December 2023.
  • Average global crude price increased to a three-month high of US$80.5/bbl. in February 2024 from US$77.7/bbl. in January 2024.
  • The OECD has projected global growth to ease from 3.1% in 2023 to 2.9% in 2024, with India’s FY24 and FY25 growth forecasted at 6.7% and 6.2% respectively.


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