Business Resumption Level Hits a Record

Business resumption scaled a record last week, a private tracker showed, indicating a strong festive season and rapid normalisation of business activity as the pandemic remained in check.

The Nomura India Business Resumption Index rose to a high of 109.9 for the week ended November 14, higher than an upwardly revised 107.7 in the previous week from 105.9 estimated earlier.

“So far, festive demand has been strong in Q4, with retail sales up by ~74% y-o-y over the Diwali week, which presents an optimistic outlook for the ongoing wedding season and year-end festivities,” Nomura said in a weekly release on Monday.

The index is scaled to 100 at the pre-pandemic level, implying a business activity level at about 10% more than that in February 2020.

According to industry estimates, 2.5 million marriages are expected in November-December, providing a boost to the $50 billion industry. Travel bookings are strong through to the new year.

The IHS Markit India Services PMI released earlier this month showed the strongest output growth in over a decade. “Despite vaccine hesitancy (pace sliding from 7.7mn doses/day in September to 5.4mn/day in October and ~4mn/day over 1-14 November), cases remain capped, although an increase in daily deaths suggests another resurgence cannot be ruled out,” Nomura said.

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