Besides railway freight, transportation of goods through roadways also slowed during April.

The average number of daily e-way bills generated in April so far is around 2 million as compared to 2.3 million in March. These bills are necessary for moving goods from one state to the other via road.

Besides goods, people’s movement has also reduced.

Curfews curb mobility

With partial and full curfews imposed in certain Indian cities, the number of people moving out of their homes has dropped.

As per Apple’s driving index, which is compiled monthly on the basis of the number of requests made on Apple Maps for directions, Indians across major cities are commuting far lesser in April than in the previous three months.

Unemployment on the rise

One of the biggest impacts of the lockdowns in 2020 was a sharp rise in unemployment, especially in the unorganised sectors. In April 2020, unemployment in India spiked to 23%.

However, as the country reopened, the job market started recovering and by February 2020, the unemployment rate fell to 6.9%.

This month though, the unemployment rate has gone up to 8.40%. The crisis is being felt most in urban parts of the country, where the joblessness is above 10%.

Weak business activity

All these headwinds reflected in Nomura’s India Business Resumption Index, which shows that the business activity in India has taken a beating. The index takes into account parameters such as Google mobility indices, Apple’s driving mobility data, power demand in India, and the labour force participation rate.

On April 11, the index fell to 90.4 from 99.3 in the first week of February.

Image: Nomura

“Both the pandemic situation and its impact on growth continue to evolve as a higher rise in cases is increasing public and private proclivities towards restricted mobility,” Nomura’s report said.

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