Lead indicator

Car sales data for November to be released today will be the first bit of consumer data that will be available after the demonetisation shock


The sales of two-wheelers should be watched with special attention as it may give some idea of whether the cash crunch in rural India has curbed demand despite a very good harvest. Photo:
The sales of two-wheelers should be watched with special attention as it may give some idea of whether the cash crunch in rural India has curbed demand despite a very good harvest. Photo:

Car companies are scheduled to release their sales numbers for November on Thursday. This will be the first bit of consumer data that will be available after the demonetisation shock of 8 November.

Automobile sales volumes are usually a good indicator of the state of the more affluent end of the Indian consumer market. The sales of two-wheelers should be watched with special attention as it may give some idea of whether the cash crunch in rural India has curbed demand despite a very good harvest.

The next few weeks will also provide other clues as high-frequency data is released on everything from cement dispatches to freight volumes to bank lending. There is still a lot of guesswork about the exact impact of the currency shortage on the Indian economy. Most of the opinion is based on either anecdotal evidence or forecasting based on very little data. The macro data will come in after a lag of several months. It makes sense right now to track the micro data very closely.

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