UNTIL lat year, India with a population of 1.3 billion people, was the world's fastest growing large economy, routinely enjoying growth pf 8 percent or more.

FALLING sales of underwear, cars and cookies signal the economy is fraying.

When Alan Greenspan ran a consulting firm and wanted to know where the economy was headed, he would often look at sales of men's underwear as a guide.

Mr. Greenspan, who later served as the chairman of the United States Federal Reserve believed that when times were tough, men would stop replacing wornout underwear, which no one could see, before cutting other purchases.

BY THAT MEASURE : India is in a serious slump.

''Sales are down 50 percent,'' said Jeffrin Moses, gesturing towards the boxes of cotton briefs and tank tops bulging from the shelves of the Tantex undergarment emporium in Tirupur, the southern city where most of the country's knitwear is made.

It's not just underwear. Car sales plunged 32 percent in August, the largest drop in two decades, and carmakers are warning of 1 million layoffs as shoppers balk at rising prices and struggle to get loans from skittish lenders.

Macrotech, a big real estate developer that has teamed up with President Trump on a residential tower in Mumbai, just laid off 400 employees as demand for new housing sinks.

Families are even skimping on the on the 7-cent packets Parle cookies that are a staple of India's morning milk and tea. They are turning instead to even cheaper snacks made by local food vendors, according to Mayank Shah, a Parle executive.

Cookie sales are down about 8 percent, he said, and if current trends continues, the company may cut as much as 10,000 jobs.

Further darkening India's outlook is is the global economic slowdown, the recent spike in oil prices and the impact of Mr. Trump's trade battles - including one with India.

On Friday last, the Indian government which spent months playing down evidence of downturn or a slowdown, finally acknowledged the depth of the problem, announcing a surprise cut in income taxes for companies and additional incentives for manufacturers.

And over the month - last, Prime Minister Narendra Modi traveled to Houston , where he met with Mr. trump to try to resolve the some of their trade disputes.

The honor and serving of the latest operational research on economies, continues. The World Students Society thanks author Vindu Goel.


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