Few parts of the world will limp into 2023 quite like South Asia. Consider the year the region has just had.

In Sri Lanka, the economy collapsed. Inflation hit 70%, food and fuel ran short and a president was chased out of the country by a popular uprising.

Pakistan flirted with default, suffered biblical floods that caused an estimated $12 billion - $40 billion in damage, and must put up with constant disruption from political chaos.

In Bangladesh, there were horrifying industrial accidents, more floods, and a public losing patience with 1 million Rohingyas refugees they must support.

Nepal faced dwindling foreign-currency reserves.

Yet amid all this gloom there is one bright spot. By most standards, India sailed through 2022 relatively unscathed. The lifting of pandemic restrictions allowed normal life to resume and migrants to move around the country once more.

The central bank's rates rises have been less brutal than those of rich countries. Inflation, at about 7%, looked positively cool COMPARED with America and Britain, let alone Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

The economy was forecast to expand by a respectable 6.8% for the full year, outstripping any major economy bar Saudi Arabia.

Measured in dollars at current prices, India is now the world's fifth biggest economy, taking Britain's spot. The gap between the two will only widen in 2023, reckons the IMF.

The World Students Society thanks Leo Mirani, Asia correspondent, The Economist.


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