Uptick in economic activity but income stress, third-wave fears weigh heavy

Wary of a re-surge, states continue partial movement restrictions in India

Google Mobility Index data showed that on July 26, visits to retail establishments including restaurants, cafes and shopping centres, were down 20% compared to a pre-Covid baseline. (Express File Photo)

Domestic travel also recouped following the second wave. According to data sourced from DGCA, domestic air traffic rose 47% in June compared with May on the back of easing of travel restrictions and a dip in Covid cases.

Multiple high-frequency indicators point to an uptick in economic and business activity over the last two months in the wake of the brutal second Covid wave — but with a clear caveat.

Wary of a re-surge, states continue partial movement restrictions.

Result: some indicators that showed a significant recovery since May are beginning to flatten and remain below the pre-pandemic level.

Google Mobility Index data showed that on July 26, visits to retail establishments including restaurants, cafes and shopping centres, were down 20% compared to a pre-Covid baseline.

This baseline is calculated as the median value of the corresponding day of the week during the five-week period between January 3 and February 5, 2020. On April 23 this year, a fortnight before the second wave peaked, visits were down a sharper 46%.

Similarly, on July 26, visits to public transport hubs like bus and train stations were only 11% down from the pre-Covid baseline.

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