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Nomura post-COVID activity index hits high

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Post-pandemic economic activity hit a fresh high in the week ended January 2, as per the Nomura India Business Resumption Index reading of 120.3, indicating a 20.3% rise compared with pre-COVID levels.

While this was the second week in a row that the index stayed above 120, power demand fell 3.1% from a week earlier compared with a 2.5% rise seen in that week.

Workplace mobility measured by Google dipped 6% from the earlier week, but a 10.4% rise in the Apple driving statistics bumped up the overall index. The labour participation rate inched down to 40.6% from 40.7%, Nomura analysts Sonal Varma and Aurodeep Nandi said in a note on Monday.

The note, titled ‘Another high in business resumption at the cusp of a third wave’, warned that elevated mobility and a rising positivity rate suggest a further rise in new COVID-19 cases, which has already hit 33,750 on Sunday from about 6,500 cases per day a week earlier.

“While early signs point to a lower mortality rate, it bears close monitoring. The restrictions could derail the recovery in contact-intensive services in this quarter, but global experience suggests a smaller impact than previous waves and a swift growth rebound once cases peak,” the note said.



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