Grand Tamasha

Decoding the Indian Economy

Episode Summary

Economist Pranjul Bhandari sits down with Milan Vaishnav to dissect the state of the Indian economy, from forecasting inflation to the minute details of India's annual budget.

Episode Notes

It seems wherever you turn these days, there are stories about India’s status as the fastest growing major economy in the world. Its growth rates remain the envy of both the developed—and the developing—world. But what is really happening under the hood? What are the opportunities for India in a world riven by conflict and technological disruptions? And what challenges might it face as it tries to navigate these choppy waters?

To talk about the nuts and bolts of the Indian economy, Milan is joined on this week’s show by the economist Pranjul Bhandari. Pranjul is chief India and Indonesia economist and managing director for global research at HSBC. Whether it’s breaking down the latest GDP print, forecasting India’s inflation dynamics, or dissecting India’s annual budget, Pranjul is one of the sharpest and most prolific observers of the Indian economy.

Milan and Pranjul discuss the latest growth figures from India, the stickiness of inflation, and underwhelming consumption growth. Plus, the two discuss the puzzle of India’s foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows and what it will take for the “Make in India” program to succeed. The duo conclude with a discussion about the reforms India must prioritize if it is to achieve sustained rapid growth.

Episode notes:

1. Mohamed El-Erian and Michael Spence, “The Indian Giant Has Arrived,” Project Syndicate, March 22, 2024.

2. Pranjul Bhandari, “Beyond the budget: what happened when no one was really looking?Mint, January 30, 2024.

3. Pranjul Bhandari, “India’s fiscal future: Lots done, more to do,” Mint, November 22, 2023.

4. Pranjul Bhandari, “India’s growth prospects are on the up. What changed?Indian Express, December 19, 2023.

5. Pranjul Bhandari, “Building an India for manufacturers,” Indian Express, October 9, 2023.