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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi faces severe challenges in stimulating a faltering economy as his second term begins.
A global synchronized industrial slowdown has hit the Indian automobile and technology sectors somewhat hard, resulting in over a million job cuts in the last several years, reported The Economic Times.
India is in a cyclical downturn with no signs of abating. The industrial slowdown has already spread into the auto industry, with volume contraction in the June quarter the steepest since 2001.
Indian new car sales plunged 18.4% in May YoY to 308,194 units versus 377,716 units in May 2018. Sales in June were the lowest in 18 years. The auto sector is about half of all manufacturing in the country. About 35 million jobs could be affected if the downturn gains momentum in 2H19.
India’s technology sector has also been experiencing financial hardships related to the slowdown.
Since 2017, India’s handset industry slashed 250,000 jobs as growth rates stalled, and Chinese competitors have dominated domestic brands.
The cut represents about 15% of the handset workforce, included mostly in-store brand promoters who left the industry amid the closure of thousands of small phone-retailing shops.
Industry executives and retailers told The Times that India had 400,000 handset retailing outlets, many of which were smaller family-owned stores.
“More than 250,000 jobs have been lost over the past two years because many retail shops had closed, in-shop promoters have been laid off, and even distribution chains had also shut shop,” said Pankaj Mohindroo, president of the Indian Cellular and Electronics Association (ICEA).
Mohindroo said the handset industry had laid off “20,000-25,000 on the manufacturing side…but it is retail and distribution that have seen the maximum impact.”
The combination of a slowdown in handset sales and Chinese companies commanding 75% of the Indian market, has led to the recent demise of the Indian handset industry.
With the Indian economy slowing, growth rates plunging across all major industries, a credit crunch that could start making trouble in the industrial sector, India is headed for a prolonged downturn that could be extended well into 2020.
Rising protectionism from President Trump’s trade war and a hostile global environment could have already started to compound India’s economic troubles.
Export growth for India hit a 41-month low in June after slowing was seen in automobiles, petroleum oil, gems and jewelry, and engineering goods.
June outbound goods plunged 10%, after rising 4% in May. Imports dipped 9%, a 34-month low in June.
Government officials blamed India’s slowdown on the trade war.
And to summarize the global industrial slowdown in one chart. Here’s Global Trade YoY crashing to levels not seen since the last financial meltdown.