April 2021 economic activity significantly higher than April 2020: PHD Chamber

No. PR- 066

June 22, 2021

New Delhi

The PHDCCI Economic and Business Momentum (EBM) Index

April 2021 economic activity significantly higher than April 2020: PHD Chamber

Though the second wave of Covid-19 has severely impacted the country as compared to the first wave in 2020 with record active cases, daily new cases and deaths, lead economic and business indicators have shown a higher growth in April 2021 as compared with April 2020. PHDCCI Economic & Business Momentum (EBM) Index of 25 lead economic and business indicators at 99.8 for April 2021 is significantly higher as compared with 78.3 for April 2020 at the base of 2018-19 = 100, said Sanjay Aggarwal, President, PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry, in a press statement issued here today.

PHDCCI EBM Index 2018-19=100 April 2017 April 2018 April 2019 April 2020 April 2021
95.8 100.2 101.3 78.3 99.8
Source: PHD Research Bureau, PHDCCI EBM Index

Lead economic and business indicators such as cement, steel, consumer durables, GST collections and external commercial borrowings have shown a noteworthy improvement in April 2021 as compared to the April 2020, said Sanjay Aggarwal.

However, sequentially, the PHDCCI EBM Index has shown a slight decline for April 2021 to the level of 99.8 as compared to 100.3 for March 2021. Amid an uncertain economic environment created by 2nd wave of coronavirus, the trade and industry have been impacted by the restrictions in various parts of the country, depressed demand and investment scenario and reduced spending on non-essential items, said Sanjay Aggarwal.

PHDCCI EBM Index 2018-19=100 January 2021 February 2021 March 2021 April 2021
99.3 99.2 100.3 99.8
Source: PHD Research Bureau, PHDCCI EBM Index

Based on the April economic activity and movement of EBM Index, a significantly higher growth trajectory is anticipated for Q1 FY 2021-22. The quarterly movement of PHDCCI EBM Index and quarterly GDP growth rates are highly correlated at 0.9 as depicted in Chart-2, said Sanjay Aggarwal.

Chart-1 : PHDCCI EBM Index: Monthly Trend (Base: 2018-19=100) Chart-2 : PHDCCI EBM Index (Base: 2018-19=100) and GDP Growth Rates (in %): Quarterly Trend

Source: PHD Research Bureau, PHDCCI EBM Index; GDP growth figures compiled from MOSPI

Going ahead, effective policy measures are needed once again to support demand and to have a multiplier effect on production possibilities, expansion of employment in factories, expansion of capital investments and overall virtuous circle of the growth trajectory, said Sanjay Aggarwal.

There is a need to lower interest rates for consumers and businesses, lesser compliances for MSMEs vis-à-vis ease of doing business at the ground level and a lower tax regime to increase the personal disposable income of the people, he said

Frontloading the National Infra Pipeline expenditure would provide a much needed multiplier effect to create aggregate demand in the economy and to strengthen the economic recovery, said Sanjay Aggarwal

More and more direct benefit transfers needs to be considered for the urban and rural poor under the various welfare schemes in addition to the free distribution of dry rations till Diwali as already announced by the Hon’ble Prime Minister, he said

A substantial stimulus to create effective strides for futuristic growth trajectory and to diminish the daunting impact of the second wave of the pandemic coronavirus on trade and industry would be crucial to support the economic momentum in this extremely difficult time, said Aggarwal

At least 75% of the population of country needed to be vaccinated with both doses of vaccination by December 2021 to do away with the uncertainty in the economy, said Sanjay Aggarwal.

PHDCCI EBM (Economic and Business Momentum) Index has shown steady recovery from the lows of 78.3 in April 2020 to 85.7 in May 2020, 91.6 in June 2020, 95.5 in July 2020, 95.9 in August 2020, 96.5 in September 2020, 96.8 in October 2020, 98.4 in November 2020, 99.2 in December 2020, 99.3 in January 2021, 99.2 in February 2021, 100.3 in March 2021 and 99.8 in April 2021, with a base of 2018-19=100.

PHDCCI EBM Index is a composite index of 25 lead economic and business indicators with base year at 2018-19=100, which considers the demand and supply indicators to present a broad perspective of the economy. The 25 indicators include the IIP Consumer durable goods, IIP Consumer non-durable goods, IIP Capital Goods, IIP Intermediate Goods, Coal, Crude Oil, Natural Gas, Petroleum Refinery Products, Fertilisers, Steel, Cement, Electricity, Consumption of Petroleum products, Export Merchandise, Export Services, India Freight Traffic, Credit to Agriculture, Credit to Industry, Credit to service sector, Personal Loans, GST Collections, SENSEX, FDI Equity Inflows, External commercial borrowings and Unemployment.

Full PHDCCI EBM Index report attached



Base: 2018-19=100

Sr No Economic Indicators Apr-20 Apr-21 (Apr’21 – Apr ’20)
1 IIP Consumer durable goods 5 93 88
2 IIP Consumer non-durable goods 64 125 61
3 IIP Capital Goods 8 89 81
4 IIP Intermediate Goods 39 120 81
5 Coal 97 106 9
6 Crude Oil 86 84.3 -2
7 Natural Gas 86 107 21
8 Petroleum Refinery Products 81 107 25
9 Fertilisers 101 103 2
10 Steel 22 109 87
11 Cement 17 113 96
12 Electricity 88 122 34
13 Consumption of Petroleum products 58 105 47
14 Export Merchandise Growth 50 147 97
15 Export Services 121 128 8
16 India Freight Traffic 98 107 9
17 Credit to Agriculture 104 111 7
18 Credit to Industry 102 100 -1
19 Credit to service sector 111 101 -10
20 Personal Loans 112 113 1
21 GST Collection 32 141 109
22 SENSEX (Daily average) 112 177 65
23 FDI Equity Inflows 74 73 -1
24 External commercial borrowings 54 129 75
25 Unemployment 84 96 12
Composite Weighted Index 78 100 22

Source: PHD Research Bureau, PHDCCI EBM Index Note: For calculation purpose, the FDI figure for April 2021 is average of last 3 months; figures are rounded off


Media Division

PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry