GS Paper - 3 Economy

India's economic output in 2021 is expected to remain below the 2019 level despite roll-out of the vaccine to deal with the menace of the coronavirus pandemic, said a report by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) released on 30 March 2021. India, according to the 'Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2021: Towards post-COVID-19 resilient economies', is estimated to record an economic growth of 7 per cent in 2021-22, over a contraction of 7.7 per cent witnessed in the previous fiscal on account of the pandemic's impact on normal business activity.

What

  1. Observing that India entered the pandemic with subdued GDP growth and investment, the report said, "Following one of the most stringent lockdowns in the world, the economic disruptions that the country experienced mounted in the second quarter of 2020."
  2. It added that a subsequent change in lockdown policies and success in reducing infection rates supported an impressive economic turnaround in the third quarter.
  3. However, the pace of recovery moderated in the fourth quarter with estimated year-on-year growth still close to zero.
  4. In its second advance estimates of national accounts, the National Statistical Office (NSO) has projected an 8 per cent contraction in 2020-21, showing the pandemic impact.
  5. The report further said China's swift and effective response to COVID-19 enabled it to become the only major economy worldwide to achieve a positive annual economic growth rate in 2020.
  6. The report forecasts that on average, developing Asia-Pacific economies are expected to grow 5.9 per cent in 2021 and 5 per cent in 2022, after having experienced an estimated contraction of 1 per cent in 2020.
  7. Despite a reasonably strong rebound expected in 2021, a 'K-shaped recovery' is likely, with poorer countries and more vulnerable groups marginalised in the post-pandemic recovery and transition period".
  8. Produced annually since 1947, the Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific is the oldest United Nations report on the region's progress.