Humans across the globe celebrate the festivals irrespective to their culture, religion and now-a-days it is very common to celebrate other countries festivals as our mother Earth has become a global village. We often see that Deepawali is being celebrated at several western countries and the Christmas & New Year is celebrated in India with the same enthusiasm. We can say that festivals are a blessing for humans as they create the atmosphere very jolly and more or less we can say that festivals are the biggest stress-busters for the mankind.
People love to decorate their home, exchanging gifts, buying new things especially personal accessories. Not just festivals carry special places in every country, they are also a boon for the economy. In India, Deepawali season is a boomer for traders. People throng to markets to replace their old household items with the new ones. Almost every sector records a huge jump in their sales like automobiles, furniture, electronic gadgets, firecrackers and so on. For example, on the occasion of Dhanteras, Indians bought gold worth ₹ 75,000 crore, this is huge !
Indian Economy Revival
As discussed earlier, festivals especially Deepawali comes with a blessing for the country’s economy. The much awaited news of the recovery of the Indian economy started coming from the beginning of this month. The first news came from the Finance Ministry which announced that the GST collection for October 2021 reached ₹ 1,30,127 crore in October. The GST revenues for October have been the second highest ever since introduction of GST, second only to that in April 2021, which related to year-end revenues. This is very much in line with the trend in economic recovery. The revenues would have still been higher if the sales of cars and other products had not been affected on account of disruption in supply of semiconductors.
The second news comes from the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) which has announced that after two years of recession, Indians in the current month-long festival season had spent ₹ 1.25 lakh crore in which national capital Delhi alone contributed ₹ 25,000 crore. CAIT, India’s apex trade body representing 8 crore traders and over 40,000 trade associations, said it has also awakened the spark of better business prospects among the business community in the near future. Earlier, the CAIT estimated that overall this year, Deepawali will have a business of about ₹ 1 lakh crore in all streams of business. By the end of this year, there will be an infusion of about ₹ 3 lakh crore by way of spending by consumers.
Deepawali brought a huge relief for traders and hawkers after the public thronged to markets for the festival shopping and breaking the record of last 10 years. Another factor which goes in favour of the Indian market was the boycott of Chinese goods. According to an estimate, Chinese exporters has suffered the brunt of ₹ 50,000 crore in the current Deepawali season. A survey conducted by the CAIT in its 20 distribution cities showed that so far no orders for Deepawali goods, firecrackers or other items have been placed with Chinese exporters by Indian traders or importers.
The CAIT cleared that the upswing in the market was not triggered by “Revenge Buying” against China but a “Sustainable” demand trend. Further, CAIT cited that rising vaccination levels along with lower transmission levels have instilled confidence in buyers.
The third news also comes from CAIT that the wedding season which is going to start from November 14 till December 13 is likely to generate an estimated ₹ 3 lakh crore worth of business. Approximately 25 lakh weddings are expected to be solemnised in the next one month. The CAIT cited that in Delhi alone, more than 1.5 lakh weddings are expected to take place in this season, which are likely to generate a business of about ₹ 50,000 crore.
Automobile Sector :
While the overall earnings are a positive sign for the businesses but there are some sectors which are still struggling out. According to a media report, Godrej Appliances said the bounce-back from last Diwali was 14 percent higher sales, but still below before Covid times. Maruti Suzuki, the largest seller, reported it sold about 1.5 lakh units, when in previous years the average was around 1.8 lakh units.
In Mumbai, on Dhanteras, passenger car sales fell 12 percent and two-wheelers 32 percent compared to last year. Buyers said the damper was the continuous rise in fuel prices over the last two-three months. Hyundai and other carmakers said though they had a big backlog of demand for Diwali-time delivery, they could not meet it mainly due to shortage of microchips and other components.
Another media report quoted industry insiders that the retail sales of passenger vehicles dropped by about a third in the last one month period. An estimated 3,05,000 passenger vehicles were delivered this time versus 4,55,000 units last year. According to the VAHAN portal data, which captures the registration numbers from 85 percent of the country’s regional transport offices, automakers sold 2,38,776 units, compared with 3,05,916 units in 2020, posting a decline of 22 percent. Registrations of two-wheelers at 10,70,000 units were 11 percent lower. Even tractor registrations declined 13 percent, underlining the stress in the rural areas.
Boom in Online & Real Estate Sectors
E-commerce players like Amazon and Flipkart however reported a robust 23 percent growth. Big retailers like Vijay Sales said they earned good value from expensive products. CashKaro and EarnKaro co-founder Swati Bhargava in a media report told that CashKaro, online cashback and coupon site, has witnessed 8 times jump in traffic during Deepawali sales. In terms of sales, the company has registered 5 times growth with around 30 lakh orders. Mobile phones, home-appliances, laptops and mobile accessories are the major contributors in the high sales.
Property registrations in Mumbai, India’s biggest real-estate market, gained momentum in the Diwali week. Stamp duty offices recorded about 1,450 deals in just three working days. Niranjan Hiranandani, national Vice-Chairman, NAREDCO told the media that, “A combination of factors, including record-low interest rates and need for housing, is prompting homebuyers to close the deals. While buying a home has been on their mind for long, they were waiting to time the market and now they have realised this is the right time.” Registration activity in September and October had scaled new 10-year monthly peaks.
Rahul Palhania:- Rahul is currently working as a Research Analyst in a Mumbai based Think Tank and earlier worked with a news agency ‘IANS’.