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Economy

Podcast: How Slow Is The Indian Economy? (Episode-8)

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‘Under normal circumstances, merging PSUs would have been impossible, had the government tried it 5 years ago, there would been riot on the street, today there is not even a murmur. They were able to do that because the slowdown is obvious!’- Deepak Shenoy

Host Deepak Shenoy (CEO) and Aditya Jaiswal discuss about the economic slowdown witnessed in the Indian economy.

The Podcast was divided into three broad sections:

a) Macro indicators (20 mins)

b) Recent federal regulations (8 minutes)

c) Few sectors which are currently facing a slowdown (30 mins)

Here’s the podcast: (See more episodes at The Capitalmind Podcast.)

Below is an excerpt of the podcast with time stamps of important sections!

1) Macro-indicators

1:40-  GDP growth:

We have had 5 consecutive quarters of decelerating GDP numbers, right from 8.2% in Q1 18 to 5% in Q1 19, this was the slowest growth in 25 quarters. How bad the situation is and is the worst behind us? Or should we expect a couple of more tepid quarters?

3:20- Inflation:

Inflation has been under control, it has been consistently falling for 6 straight months since Jan 2019, when inflation is under control, why is the GDP falling? Does this reflect weakening demand ultimately cooling off growth? Weakening of demand is concerning because we recently heard two big biscuit manufacturers going on record to say that people are not buying even 5-rupee packet biscuits.

8:07- Unemployment:

Unemployment in FY18 stood at 6.1%, a 45 year high, now with big manufacturing units announcing massive job cuts, auto alone has seen 2.3 lakh people losing jobs, where do you see unemployment situation going in the near term?

11:02- Private consumption:

Private consumption which constitutes about 58-59% of the GDP has been slowing down. Urban wage growth has stagnated, white collar wages have been slowing and rural consumption has also fallen on back of collapse on food prices and job cuts by manufacturing units, where do you see this going?

15:00- Investments:

We looked at the GDP growth, inflation, unemployment and consumption, let’s talk about investments. The gross capital formation has fallen from 34% in 2011 to 29% in 2018. Do you believe that we are stuck in a low growth cycle? (Falling wages- falling savings-falling investments – low GDP growth)

2) Recent federal regulations

20:30- Impact of GST and Demonetization on the economy

About 30% of the Indian economy is completely informal and employs a chunk of the population. In 2014-15, late Arun Jaitley had made a statement, the informal sector doesn’t want to operate in shadows, neither they are corrupt, rather it was a failure on the part of the federal governments that even after six decades of independence, we couldn’t integrate them with the formal economy”

In the pursuit of this integration, the government went ahead with the vision of cashless economy, demonetization and GST. Do you believe that demonetization and GST have actually hit the informal sector really hard? Do you think, somewhere, it turned out to be a shock therapy for the unorganized sector?

3) Sectors

28:18- Real Estate

Residential real estate which was mostly fueled by black money is really not moving except the affordable housing part. Now that black money is hiding in may be gold! How will that come back into the economy? Where do you see the sector going?

33:09- Automobiles

Now, we all know that there is a crisis in the Indian auto industry,  all big manufacturers are reporting double digit falls in volumes. TVS chairman made a big statement, that this slowdown is the worst in 3 decades and spread across sectors. Auto stocks recently witnessed buying interest in the anticipation of a GST cut, do you believe that a GST cut can change the fortunes of the sector?

41:28- Automobile replacement cycle

A lot of existing car owners have started using Ola/Uber/Quick ride and this has led to postponement new car purchase, where do you see the replacement cycle going forward?

45:23- FMCG

Parle-G and Britannia went on record to say that people are not buying even INR5 rupee packet biscuits. But FMCG stocks still command relatively high premium, why is that? Do you see optimism in investors, that among autos, infra, discretionary, real estate, financials, FMCG will be resilient.

50:50- Final thoughts!

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