NIBRI reaches an all-time high of 105 in the week ending September 26
The Nomura India Business Resumption Index (NIBRI) reached an all-time high of 105 in the week ending September 26.
The NIBRI is a weekly indicator of economic activity which takes into account Google mobility indices, driving mobility from Apple, power demand and the labour force participation rate. A NIBRI value of 100 refers to pre-pandemic level (23 February 2020) of economic activity and subsequent data entries have been indexed to it. It has emerged as one of the most popular high frequency economic trackers in the post-Covid phase.
After the imposition of the 68-day -long nation-wide lockdown beginning March 25, 2020, NIBRI fell sharply, reaching a minimum of 44 in the week ending April 26, 2020. There was a gradual recovery since then, and it come close to the level of 100 (99.3) in the week ending February 21, 2021, before the second wave created another round of disruption. NIBRI fell to 60.3 once again in the week ending May 23, 2021. It started recovering first gradually and then sharply and crossed the psychological threshold of 100 for the first time in the week ending August 15, 2021 and stayed above the 100-mark in the subsequent weeks.
To be sure, the latest surge in NIBRI value might not represent a broad-based improvement in economic activity. “The rise was primarily due to a sharp 18 percentage point spike in the Apple driving index over the week, which reflects higher traffic localised in the cities of Hyderabad and Pune”, said a Nomura Global Markets Research note, while releasing the numbers. “Excluding the Apple driving index, we estimate the NIBRI rose by a more modest 2 percentage point (4.6 percentage point with the Apple index included)”, it added.
“The upcoming festive season in Q4 2021 and the release of the arrears of ‘dearness allowance’ for public sector employees should support consumption, although supply-side bottlenecks may weigh on near-term manufacturing growth,” the note said.