economic policy & Labour

Dwindling Growth, High Food Inflation, Low Employment

THE post-pandemic recovery in the world economy that picked up in 2021 is likely to slow down due to expectations of rising inflation, continuing war, restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic and prolonged real estate slump in China as well as a slower than anticipated consumer spending in the US. While global growth rates are revised downwards from 6.1 per cent in 2021 to 3.2 per cent in 2022 and further down to 2.9 per cent in 2023, inflation expectations are high due to soaring food and energy prices.

Towards Self-Reliant Industrial Growth

ONE of the major promises of independent India was to embark upon a path of self-reliant economic development and industrial growth breaking free from the international division of labour imposed by the imperial order. India happened to be one of the countries in the East with some industrial base and until 1938 the average industrial growth rate in India was higher than the world average.

Neoliberalism, Workers’ Heterogeneity and Class Formation

CREATING heterogeneity of labour through the production process had been the strategic objective of capital since its inception. As capital becomes more concentrated and centralised and acquires greater power it essentially produces its dialectical opposite, heterogeneous labour. In periods of capital’s ascendancy, therefore the heterogeneity of labour and its various categorisation becomes predominant and sometimes these differences are celebrated as post-modern identities that make ‘class’ invisible and irrelevant.

Profit out of Pain and the Rising Inequality

NOTHING but the astonishing alienation from the realities of India, on the part of some academics close to the policy circle, can explain the futile attempt to show that inequality in India has declined during the COVID-19 pandemic. A widely publicized exercise based on national private consumption expenditure data from National Accounts Statistics (NAS) claims that inequality and poverty have declined in India. NAS consumption expenditure data is derived as a residual measure net of other macro aggregates.

Quarterly Estimates Indicate Slow Recovery

FOR the past three years India’s economy had to face the worst pandemic and Ukraine-Russia war which impacted global production and prices. These external shocks however only exacerbated the ailments that existed before the pandemic contributed by the unwary internal shocks of demonetisation and the imposition of the GST regime. The denial of the protracted impact of the pandemic and the consequent contraction of the economy required instead targeted strategies for revival of the eroded output and employment.

Inflation and Impact on Growth Recovery

THE possibilities of persistent inflation seem to be looming large and a resultant contraction in demand primarily because of a cost-of-living squeeze is going to impact the growth rate, the forecast of which undergoes a downward revision in recent rounds by most rating agencies. The Russia-Ukraine war and the consequent rise in fuel and food prices are not going to cool down soon. Prices of food, metals, fertilizers and edible oil are on the rise at a global level driven by supply bottlenecks created by the war.

Food Inflation and the Working People

THE Consumer Price Index (General) measuring retail headline inflation shows a year on year growth of 7.8 per cent in the month of April 2022, which is the highest in the past eight years. Actually, the CPI (General) was higher than 6 per cent in the month of May and June last year and then the prices seem to moderate till September 2021. Since then, there has been a sharp rise in prices reaching close to 8 per cent in April this year.


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