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Downcast forecasts

Photo: Reuters
Photo: Reuters

If our revival, signs of which have emerged in the past few months, is stronger than anticipated, that number may change for the better. But a mood shift will take time.

We had news of two big forecasts on Thursday, both rather unhappily made, one of them with enough surprise value to make up for the other. After rousing supporters to a frenzied rejection of his US election loss, President Donald Trump aired his expectation of “an orderly transition" of power on 20 January to the winner, Joe Biden. It wasn’t much of a concession, as he prefixed it with “I totally disagree with the outcome", but it did convey an intent to vacate the White House, now that Biden’s victory has been ratified by the US Congress.

The other big forecast, an advance estimate, was ho-hum, though only because it barely deviated from earlier projections. At this stage in India’s fiscal calendar, with economic data available only till October 2020 for analysis, our government expects our gross domestic product to contract 7.7% in 2020-21. This is slightly worse than the 7.5% contraction projected recently by our central bank. There will be further estimates made with more up-to-date information. If our revival, signs of which have emerged in the past few months, is stronger than anticipated, that number may change for the better. But a mood shift will take time.

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