“This data will be crucial as it captures the impact of the banknote ban introduced in early-November,” according to economists at Singapore’s DBS Bank. They believe the cash shortage likely disrupted logistics, production and supply of goods and services and affected sectors including automobiles, transportation, logistics, services and construction.
The fallout from demonetization, however, is ebbing as much of the currency affected by the policy appears to be back in circulation.
Reuters reported in January that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) injected 9.2 trillion rupees ($135.21 billion) worth of new currency notes into the banking system to help replace the old notes that were banned in November.
According to Goldman Sachs, the RBI’s pace of re-monetization was quicker than what the investment bank had expected — they revised their timeline for the effects of the cash crunch to ebb on the economy to mid-January, from an prior forecast of early February.
Data also appeared to support the notion that consumption has begun to normalize and that the effects of demonetization were waning, according to analysts at Morgan Stanley.
“We expect the impact on economic activity to normalize in the next one to two months,” the analysts said, adding that consumption will likely resume its recovery path from the June quarter.
The Morgan Stanley analysts pointed to improved car sales in January, a key indicator for urban discretionary spending, and the narrowing pace of decline in sales of motorcycles, seen as a proxy for rural demand, as evidence of normalization in the Indian economy.
Local media reports said market leader Maruti Suzuki along with Hyundai, Tata Motors, Toyota and Nissan reported robust passenger vehicle sales growth in January. According to the Times of India, Maruti Suzuki saw its domestic sales rise 25.9 percent on-year.