COVID pushed 32 million Indians out of the middle class: Pew research | News on the coronavirus pandemic

The number of middle-class Indians, or those earning between $ 10 and $ 20 a day, has fallen by about 32 million, according to the study.

Financial difficulties caused by last year’s coronavirus pandemic pushed an estimated 32 million Indians out of the middle class, reversing years of economic gains, a report showed on Thursday, as job losses pushed millions of Indians in poverty.

The number of middle-class Indians, or those earning between $ 10 and $ 20 a day, has declined by about 32 million, from the number that could have been reached in the absence of a pandemic, the Pew said. Research Center, based in the United States. .

A year after the start of the pandemic, the number of people belonging to the middle class has fallen to 66 million, down by a third from a pre-pandemic estimate of 99 million, he added.

“India is estimated to have experienced a larger shrinking middle class and a much larger increase in poverty than China during the COVID-19 slowdown,” the Pew Research Center said, citing the growth forecast of the World Bank.

Nearly 57 million people had joined the middle-income group between 2011 and 2019, he added.

In January of last year, the World Bank forecast almost the same level of economic growth for India and China, at 5.8% and 5.9% respectively, in 2020.

But nearly a year after the start of the pandemic, the World Bank revised its forecast in January to a 9.6% contraction for India and 2% growth for China.

India faces a second wave of infections in some industrialized states, after a drop in cases until early this year, and its total of 11.5 million cases is the highest after the United States and Brasil.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government is forecasting an 8% contraction in the current fiscal year, which ends this month, before economic growth picks up around 10% in the next fiscal year.

The Pew Center estimated that the number of poor people, with incomes of $ 2 or less a day, increased by 75 million as the recession caused by the virus recovered from years of progress.

A nearly 10% rise in domestic fuel prices this year, job losses and wage cuts have further hurt millions of households, forcing many to seek employment abroad.

In China, however, the decline in living standards has been modest, as the number of middle-income people has likely declined by 10 million, while poverty levels have remained unchanged, the report adds.

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