Demonetization – How will it affect the Indian Macroeconomy?
Obviously, the cash financing the legal, semi legal and illegal activities has vanished. Parallel channels, pumping money on the side have suddenly gone dry. Diminution of revenue will have a domino effect in the short term. Diminution of revenue will have a domino effect in the short term. While sparing essential living activities, this will have effects on every aspect of the economy – building, sales, travel, spending etc.
This decrease will eventually, reflect on the overall economy and its growth projections. A significant proportion of free floating cash financing several essential and non-essential daily operations will be strangulated. Cash earned irrespective of means, is an asset and not having an asset or liquidity will have deep impacts. Bloomberg feels it is contraction. To me, its deflation will follow and contraction. Primarily, contraction will be due large volumes of money being sucked out of the parallel (Juggad) economy with accompanying system wide impact. It will change the barometers of all key indices, Irrespective of sectors.
These phases will last 3-4 quarters, unless complemented by addition steps to curb the parallel economy. Next 3-4 quarters will report at least a drop by 0.5 to 1.25 percent point in GDP, at best, definitely risking it from calling it recession. Does that mean inflation and recession? No, despite the economy contracting, this is not recession though it is more similar to deflation. Economic indicators on each of these phases will reflect a different figure.
Now, does that mean I am against Demonetization? Certainly not! No pregnancy is without pain and no delivery is without cry and smile, except when you induce with Cesarean section under anesthesia. However, we are talking about the birth of a new era, and we are trying to understand how this newborn will impact existing earnings and revenue potential of the country in general (the macroeconomic considerations or implications). I see deflation (not recession) with overall contraction in the economy in the immediate future. Mauro Guillen, Director of the School’s Lauder Institute and a Professor at Wharton commented, “In the short term, the move could stifle some businesses that are legal and clean, if they use cash payments. But everyone will adjust. And while it can hurt some small businesses and individuals, it is better to do it than not.”
Three phases of recovery –
Economy will be impacted on several counts from GDP, Per Capita earning, Consumption, Investment, Industrial Production, Fiscal Balance, Public Debt and Unemployment Rates. However, this recovery will be marked by three distinct phases. Each phase demarcated by particular barometer of the economy.
- Phase One – Lasting until end December, when the last notes would be officially accepted.
- Phase Two – Deflationary pressure contracts the economy
- Phase Three – Drop in Interest rates drop to bump up economy
Phase One – The Cash Crunch Phase:
Also the immediate phase succeeding demonetization, marked by severe depletion of cash or cash crunch. Only essential purchase activities will continue. CPI and CFPI will drop during this phase. The manner in which the denominations were retracted created a perceived rather than real loss. Cash spending reduced significantly so also purchase activities. Of course, loss of purchase activities, specifically based on Cash economy, would definitely result in a drop in GDP. Consumer spending activity fell to a near halt. Consumers are refraining from making any purchases except essential items from the consumer staples, healthcare, and energy segments. However, deflation will not be seen until phase 2.
Phase Two – Deflationary Phase:
Though Bank remittances will be high, the system will still be deprived of cash flow. The system has a tendency to bounce back and people will find ways to mobilize cash to support their cash based, if not illegal transactions. This phase will be marked by liquidity mobilization will see a fall in prices on big ticket items such as real estate, less spending on luxury items etc. Apart from Real Estate, Gold and jewelry will also see diminution in value by approximately 10-15%.The next phase will have a little rebound to the GDP along with CPI but big ticket purchase will still be low.
During this period, real estate is likely to show significant down trend. Home prices may drop significantly, especially where investors have high stakes without support. Tier 1 cities will be most affected, primarily due to real estate activities being funded by investors. Tier 2 and Tier 3 will follow suite. Some reports say, accounts activity in the real estate sector, which includes a lot of cash and undocumented transactions, has already slowed down significantly, Metropolitan and Tier 1 cities reported up to a 30% fall in house prices. Industrial production will slow down on account of decrease appetite for domestic consumption. Rupee will continue depreciation against Green bag and the downward slide will be supported by Central intervention. However, decrease fiscal deficit and public debt will help Rupee from falling further. Also, imports will be impacted negatively and that will retain the value of Rupee in midterm.
Phase Three – Drop in Interest Rate:
Continued economic slowdown will mandate stimulation and the interest rates would drop, possibly by 0.5 to 0.75 percent. Trade deficit will decrease marginally. GDP will still not be back to the Nov 30, 2016 value. CPI and WPI will bounce back but not to the Oct 2016 values. Big Ticket items will continue to reel under the deflationary pressure.
In the next 2-3 quarters, it will depreciate but eventually, after 3-5 quarters, it will be the most appreciating currency across the globe, primarily for its intrinsic strength but also secondary politicoeconomic phenomenon across the globe. By than, Trumpism will show its negative impact on dollar, Pound would not be as strong as it was Pre-Brexit, Euro should be sliding or at the most stabilized itself from sliding. Yen and Yuan both won’t show much potential for appreciating. Despite their strength, Canadian and Australian dollars won’t have to much impact.
Several factors will weigh in in favor of Rupee. As mentioned earlier, Rupee will depreciate in the next 2-3 quarters but start appreciating by early 2018. Turnaround in Rupee valuation vis a vis major currency baskets (appreciation), and slide of dollar, will most likely coincide at the same time, given the current political economic situation. Rupee should start appreciating and will dominate overall currency baskets after 3-5 quarters.
I always trust, when the enterprise, entity or a country stands on sound morals and ethical values, its long term outlook is strong. We definitely are moving in a direction towards that needed change. However, as noted earlier, I also feel this pregnancy and delivery is not without pain, cry and smile.
(Published on Dec 5 2016, this blog is still under construction)
D SubbaRao – ex RBI Governor’s View on Demonetization ( Full Text )
Demonetization Dos and Don’ts (Gita Gopinath, Prof Economics at Harvard)
India Rupee Demonetization: A Government Windfall? (Yahoo Finance)
What are the impacts of Demonetisation on Indian Economy? (Indian Economy; Economy & Finance)
THE CASE FOR FINANCIAL INFRASTRUCTURE: RURAL WELFARE AFTER INDIAN DEMONETIZATION (Wharton, Nov 18, 2016)
Demonetization in India: Who Will Pay the Price? (Wharton, Nov 16, 2016)
Several Interesting Topics to Read on – FinanceProfessor.com
Macroeconomics (National Institute of Public Finance Policy)
Macroeconomic Policy (Mapping Finance)
Updated link (below) added on Feb 27, 2017 –