DART index above baseline of 100 notwithstanding, the pace of recovery in economic activity has been sombre in Aug-21 retreating from the spurt of rebound seen over months of Jun-21 and Jul-21. Admittedly, while this was expected as the index inched closer to the baseline of 100, the continued gradual build-up in Aug-21 is a reflection of swift and rather a steady recovery that has taken shape post the second COVID wave of infections. This should augur well for GDP growth momentum to pick-up in Q2 from an anticipated sequential contraction in Q1 FY22.
Into the festive season, we remain cognizant of the risk of a third wave of infections as social interactions normalize and as several states resume operations of schools, multiplexes and theatres for the first time since the onset of the pandemic. In fact, the daily number of confirmed COVID cases, on a 7 day moving average basis, has risen in the last one week. On the vaccination front, the week gone by was record breaking on more than one count. First, India clocked its highest single-day vaccine dose tally of more than 10 mn (on 27th Aug-21). Second, the average pace of daily doses for the week rose to a record 7.4 mn after remaining nearly stagnant at ~5.2 mn over the previous four weeks. This ramp-up in vaccination delivery reinforces our estimate of India inoculating ~60% of population with the first dose by end of Dec-21.
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