06 December 2022 • 7 min read
Indian Economy Outlook – October 2022
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Economies all over the world have adapted to external developments. It is difficult to predict the future as capitalism remains the longest running experiment in recent memory.
There is still a lot of work to be done by the policy makers to achieve the inflation target of 2-4 percent.
The Indian economy is among the few bright spots in the world. The policy makers in the government and decision makers at businesses base their decisions and forward-looking statements after analysing relevant data.
Inflation may have peaked after continuous rise over the past few months. As a result, the government has gained some liberty for its budget calculations. Merchandise exports in October 2022 were U.S. dollars 29.78 billion, as compared to U.S. dollars 35.73 billion in October 2021.
Merchandise imports in October 2022 were USD 56.69 Billion, as compared to USD 53.64 Billion in October 2021.
In the following paragraphs, let us try to understand the state of Indian economy with help from data released by government agencies, industry associations, and financial analytics firms.
Goods and Services Tax
October 2022 recorded the second highest goods and services tax (GST) collection ever. If we were to list out the factors that led to the bumper growth in domestic consumption, then festive season optimism will be on top of every other factor. As per a press release by the Ministry of Finance, the GST collection for the month of October was ₹1,51,718 crore and it has crossed the ₹1.4 lakh crore for eight months in a row.
State of Manufacturing and Services
The monthly manufacturing and services data for the month of October indicates that the Indian economy is in expansion mode and price pressures have been contained. Employment in the manufacturing sector has shown healthy gains and input material purchases are at multi-month highs. October data indicated an expansion in new work with Indian service providers. Domestic market was the primary source of new business.
Auto Retail Sales
In aggregate, the auto sector reported a 48% increase in sales in October 2022 when compared to a similar period last year. The Federation of Automobile Dealers’ Association (FADA) informed sales have touched pre-covid levels. Except for three-wheelers, all other categories ended the month in green. The commercial vehicle (CV) segment has grown 25% year-on-year and 13% compared to 2019. Mining and infrastructure projects in all parts of the country, opening of educational institutions and revival in travel have contributed to higher CV sales.
India’s Foreign Exchange Reserves
On 4th November 2022, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) released foreign exchange reserve data for the half-year ended September 2022. The RBI reported that reserves decreased from U.S. dollars 607.31 billion in March 2022 to U.S. dollars 532.66 billion at the end of September 2022. India maintains foreign currency assets in major currencies, while reserves are reported in U.S. dollar terms.
After multiple rate increases by the RBI over the past several months, the consumer price index (CPI) has climbed below 7 percent in the month of October. The CPI for the month of October was 6.77 percent while the food inflation was recorded at 7.01 percent – both these rates were substantially lower from the corresponding figures in the month of September.
Compared to prices last year, egg and oils & fats registered reduction in October, while the prices of footwear, cereals and spices registered double-digit increases in the similar period.
The deliberations for union budget 2023 have begun and there are more positives than negatives for the Indian economy. Direct and indirect tax collections in the current fiscal are above budgeted estimates. Imports have been rising at a much faster pace than exports, and this has adversely affected the balance of trade.
The Russia-Ukraine war has taken energy prices beyond tolerable limits and a lot of surprises may still be in store. If you want to win the high stakes economic bonanza, staying ahead of the curve matters more than anything else.
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