With weak demand conditions, auto analysts are factoring in lower growth in the months ahead (Bloomberg)

NEW DELHI: The Union budget 2019 will be presented at a time when the economy is losing momentum. That’s the central message from the latest update of the Mint Macro Tracker, launched in October to provide a comprehensive view of 16 high-frequency economic indicators.

The Macro Tracker shows that out of the 16 indicators, five were in the green (above the five-year average trend) as of December 2018, while eight indicators were in the red (below the five-year average trend).

These figures are considerably worse than what they were even six months ago, when eight indicators were in the green, and five in the red.

As India’s gross domestic product (GDP) numbers are released with a lag of three months and, given the persistent doubts surrounding calculations of the new GDP series , it becomes important to track other high-frequency indicators to gauge the state of the economy.

The 16 indicators captured in the Macro Tracker reflect trends across four aspects of the economy: consumer spending, industrial activity, external vulnerability, and ease of living (which measures inflation and the jobs scenario). On two of these aspects, the picture appears far more grim than before while in the two other arenas, the picture is broadly the same.

With sales of passenger vehicles and two-wheelers slowing, the consumer economy seems to be the hardest hit sector.

And with weak demand conditions, auto analysts are factoring in lower growth in the months ahead.