Economic Survey 2021: High food prices remained major driver of inflation in 2020
As per the Economic Survey 2021, bank credit remained subdued in FY 2020-21 amid risk aversion and muted credit appetite.
As per the Economic Survey 2021, bank credit remained subdued in FY 2020-21 amid risk aversion and muted credit appetite. However, credit growth to agriculture and allied activities accelerated to 7.4 per cent in October 2020 from 7.1 per cent in October 2019. October 2020 saw resilient credit flows to sectors such as construction, trade and hospitality, while bank credit remained muted to the manufacturing sector. Credit growth to the services sector accelerated to 9.5 per cent in October 2020 from 6.5 per cent in October 2019.
High food prices remained a major driver of inflation in 2020. However, inflation in December, 2020 fell back into the RBI’s target range of 4+/-2 per cent to reach 4.6 per cent to reach 4.6 per cent year-on-year as compared to 6.9 per cent in November. This was driven by a step fall in food prices, particularly of vegetables, cereals, and protein products and favorable base effects.
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The external sector provided an effective cushion to growth with India recording a current account surplus of 3.1 per cent of GDP in the first half of the year, largely supported by strong services exports, and weak demand leading to a sharper contraction in imports (with merchandise imports contracting by 39.7%) than exports (with merchandise exports contracting by 21.2%). Consequently, the Foreign exchange reserves rose to cover 18 months of imports in December 2020.
External debt as a ratio to GDP rose marginally to 21.6 per cent at end-September 2020 from 20.6 per cent at end-March 2020. However, the ratio of foreign exchange reserves to total and short-term debt (original and residual) improved because of the sizable accretion in reserves.
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