India’s economy is estimated to have contracted by 9.6 per cent in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, while it is projected to grow at 7.3 per cent, a report said on Tuesday.
The report, titled ‘World Economic Situation and Prospects 2021,’ noted that the COVID-19 crisis has wreaked havoc on labour markets in both developed and developing world. In the developing world, the report said that by mid-2020, unemployment rates had escalated to a record high 23 per cent in India.
It said that commercial air travel, tourism, catering, leisure, personal care and retail industries, manufacturing, trade and transportation, which typically employ large numbers of low-skilled workers, faced the largest job losses.
Many of the jobs in these sectors cannot be performed remotely, making them vulnerable to lockdown and quarantine measures.
“The pandemic has also adversely affected female labour force participation in labour-intensive sectors, as more than 50 per cent of workers in those sectors are women, and they are often the entry point into work for women, youth, migrant workers and the rural population,” said the report.
In the report, the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) forecasted that in 2021, the Indian economy is projected to grow at 7.3 per cent.
In 2022, the growth rate, however, is likely to slow down to 5.9 per cent from this year’s projected level.
Last month, the National Statistical Office (NSO) said that the Indian economy is estimated to contract 7.7 per cent in 2020-21 compared to 4.2 per cent growth in the previous fiscal, mainly on account of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Real GDP or GDP at Constant Prices (2011-12) in the year 2020-21 is likely to attain a level of Rs 134.40 lakh crore, as against the Provisional Estimate of GDP for the year 2019-20 of Rs 145.66 lakh crore… The growth in real GDP during 2020-21 is estimated at -7.7 per cent as compared to the growth rate of 4.2 per cent in 2019-20,” it had said.
However, the projection was for FY2020-21, where as UN’s report forecast is for the Calendar year January 2020-December 2020.