India Confronts Its Challenges, China Shows Restraint, and a New ECB Leader Is Named


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Vaibhav reports on what’s ahead for India after recent elections.

The decade of the 1990s in India was an era of rapid change. The sudden rise of new choices and shifts in consumer preferences was stunning, in hindsight. Not too long ago, to watch our favorite TV shows, we had to be home on time with the exterior antenna pointed in the right direction. Weather often played spoilsport even if the events weren’t remotely associated with sports. Aside from our limited television choices, we occupied our time playing cricket, fighting for space in narrow streets.

Today, antennas have been replaced by satellite dishes and streaming media. Cricket is a rare sight on streets, increasingly played instead on apps and gaming consoles. Wireless technology is pervasive, extending beyond mobile phones to home appliances and vehicles.

The transformation experienced in many Indians’ lifestyles over last three decades stemmed directly from the economic liberalization reforms of 1991. They opened India to global trade and paved the way for our country to become the world’s sixth largest economy. With Prime Minister Narendra Modi securing another large mandate in last month’s elections, the world is watching to see if the Indian economy will be able to take its next leap forward.

Weekly Economic Commentary - July 12, 2019 - Chart 1

In his first term, Modi embarked on important structural reforms. The government introduced a goods and services tax, modernized the bankruptcy process and established an inflation-targeting framework. These measures contributed to an improvement in business conditions that boosted India’s ranking as a place to do business.