Rural wage growth defies note ban, rises to 7.3%: Nomura

Mumbai
27 Jan 2017

Defying demonetisation, nominal rural agricultural wages growth rose to 7.3 per cent in November on year-on-year basis, largely owing to hike in minimum wages announced by the government in September last year, financial services major Nomura said in a report.

Interestingly, the report said that the steady wage growth suggests a likely release "of pent up demand after remonetisation".

"Nominal rural agricultural wages growth rose to 7.3 per cent year-on-year in November 2016 (the month demonetisation was announced) from 6.9 per cent in October, remaining well above the previous 12-month average of 4.8 per cent," Nomura said in the report.

"We expected rural wage growth to moderate in November, as we thought demonetisation would hurt the more cash-reliant rural economy (two-wheeler sales did indeed decline by 5.9 per cent year-on-year in November and by 22 per cent in December)," it added.

Demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes came into effect from November 9, 2016.

According to the financial services major, rural wages may have defied this demonetisation effect because of hike in minimum wages announced by the government in September 2016.

Further, the report said that "the resilience of nominal rural wage growth, despite demonetisation and amid lower inflation ( that is higher real wages), suggests that the current slowdown in rural demand is transitory and could give way to a sharp release of pent up demand once the economy is sufficiently remonetised, which we expect by end-March."

Rural wage growth has only recently started to trend higher, after almost two years of stabilisation, it noted. (PTI)