An under-performing economy makes a very fertile ground for populism

Once the dust raised by the elections has settled, a new government will have to deal with the economic slowdown. The issue to focus on is not the usual one of how long growth will stay in the 6.5 per cent region before moving back up to 7 per cent and beyond. First, because we should not assume automatic reversion to what existed before, and second because the credibility of the gross domestic product (GDP) numbers has been shredded. Instead, the focus has to be on real numbers that can’t be fudged, and these tell a troubling story.   Merchandise exports have been flat for most o.....

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