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Navigating an economic maze

business Updated: May 18, 2012 23:45 IST
HT Correspondent
Big Squeeze

Call it the Big Squeeze.

Galloping prices, a sliding rupee, sluggish job prospects and persistently high borrowing costs — families have been buffeted by a string of problems.

On Friday, latest data showed that there has been no let up on the price front as retail inflation reached a worrisome 10.32% in April, pummelled by high vegetable and protein-based food items.

"Shopping and eating out are the two biggest casualties of inflation," said Heena Sardana, a Delhi college student.

For finance minister Pranab Mukherjee, high inflation and a persistently weak rupee that hit a low of 54.91 on Friday has added to an array of problems, graver than just cutting down on dining out. A weak rupee is also a warning sign of plunging investor sentiment.

Last month, US credit rating agencies Standard and Poor’s (S&P) and Moody’s raised fresh questions on India’s economic health hit by high government borrowing and political compulsions stalling reforms. “The revision in outlook may have some perceptional impact. The government has taken note of these concerns,” Mukherjee said in a written reply in the Lok Sabha on Friday. Chronicle of a downturn