India, a land of wonderful diversity and interesting opportunities, remains high on the list of investment destinations by international investors and businesses. But what should one look at before considering investing in India?
With a lot of positives - a large, educated English speaking population, stable government in the center, rising forex reserves, high value capital markets - India seems to be on a firm growth path with the expectation of a double digit growth rate.
However, regulatory inefficiencies, corruption, a slow growth rate over the last decade, bureaucratic red tape in starting and running businesses, political pressures, and heavy financial burdens due to subsidies, are some of the challenges facing India’s economy and business environment.
Economic Indicators and associated parameters provide the important data points to enable informed decision making. This article discusses the key sources to get the up to date information about economic indicators of India. Let’s begin with government authorized official sources of economic data for India.
- EA data: Looking for official government data for Indian economy? The office of Economic Adviser under Ministry of Commerce & Industry publishes detailed reports covering all official economic numbers and figures for the nation. The homepage also allows easy access to download historical data. The most up to date, regularly published Key Indicators Report covers all the latest statistics covering GDP, inflation, agricultural production, employment, savings, investments, core industries growth, export, import, government securities yield, monetary indicators, etc. applicable to the Indian economy. The report is large and comprehensive with datasets split across 33 different data tables.
- Planning Commission of India: Another official source of information on Indian economic indicators, PCI offers more than 200 dedicated reports in PDF form, each covering multiple datasets offering a wealth of information to the end user. The 200+ reports are available under the categories of
- Indian Economy Related (national summary level reports)
- Agriculture, Food Consumption & Poverty Related
- Annual Plan of States (Province) Related
- State-wise Indicators of Poverty & Per-capita Expenditure, Labour Force & Employment Related
- World Trade, Exports, Imports, FDI, Balance of Payments Related
- Power, Energy and Irrigation Related
- State Plans Related
- Social Sector - Health & Family Welfare Related
- Social Sector – Drinking Water & Education
- World Economy & G-20 Countries Related
- Census 2011 related
- Demographic & Amenities data
- Ministry of External Affairs: MEA also covers detailed reports and macroeconomic indicators from the business perspective. The dedicated site India in Business provides multiple detailed reports under different sections - Index of Industrial Production, National Income, Index of Eight Core Industries, India's Foreign trade, Investment Trends, Money and Banking, Capital Market and Consumer Market. Other sections include sector wise (agriculture, real estate, etc.) economic analysis, and surveys and budget details.
Along with official agencies, here are other sources for economic data on India.
- Asian Development Bank: ADB provides its own coverage and estimates for datasets for common economic indicators like GDP, inflation, current account deficit, etc. Based on Asian Development Outlook estimates, it also regularly publishes a detailed report of a country’s economy, offering useful insights from a neutral third party perspective.
- Indexmundi: Indexmundi provides a quick reference for key economic indicators for economies across the globe. Backed by a dedicated section on economy overview, the site also offers comparison tool for relative performance analysis and study.
- World Bank: WB offers economic data for all countries across the globe including India, under its own unique categories - World Development Indicators, Global Economic Prospects - Forecasts, Projects & Operations, Finances, Surveys and Climate. Available with rich online interactive charts, graphs, and features with tools for comparative analysis based on multiple parameters, WB also enables easy data download for offline analysis. For e.g., the Projects category, among other details, covers the geographical locations of the mentioned projects on an interactive map.
- EconomyWatch: For a quick snapshot, as well as a detailed history up to the year 1980, EW serves as a good source of information for economic indicators for India.
The Bottom Line
Indian economic indicators are available from numerous sources, including multiple government agencies, departments and ministries. Combined with the data from other organizations, which maintain a politically-neutral stance, one has access to many tools to assess the country and its economy fairly.