The level of activity in manufacturing, accounting for nearly 20% of the Gross State Domestic Product of Tamil Nadu, has not only gone back to the pre-COVID-19 pandemic level but also exceeded it, as per the latest official data on the performance of the State’s economy during 2021-22 .
The manufacturing segment’s activity was valued at around ₹2,93,044 crore for the previous financial year amid the second wave of the pandemic, while it was ₹2,67,973 crore during 2019-20.
In the first year of the pandemic (2020-21), the figure was ₹2,65,316 crore, as per the data available with the Union Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation regarding the Gross State Value Added (GSVA) at constant prices (2011-12). The segment recorded a 10.45% growth rate in the previous financial year.
Apart from manufacturing, revival of fortunes in components such as construction, real estate, trade and repair services, and financial services paved the way for the State to clock an economic growth rate of 7.99% in 2021-22. Naturally, the performance of these components in the previous year was better compared to 2019-20, the pre-pandemic year. To give a few illustrations, the figures for construction and real estate were about ₹1,38,516 crore and the ₹1,93,036 crore for the previous year. In 2019-20, they were approximately ₹1,28,966 crore and ₹1,78,954 crore respectively.
Among the sub-sectors, where the showing was poorer than the pre-pandemic period were air transport, hotels and restaurants, railways and electricity. The figures for hotels and restaurants and air transport for 2021-22 were around ₹14,521 crore and ₹725 crore against ₹ 16,376 crore and ₹ 1,306 crore (for 2019-20) respectively.
Last year, it was the industrial sector which led the State’s growth with 9.17%, followed by services (6.83%) and agriculture and allied activities (4.18%). The overall growth rate figure was 7.99%. The figures for 2020-21 and 2019-20 were 0.14% and 3.25%. Comparing the State’s performance with all-India performance for 2021-22, when the country was estimated to have grown at 8.7%, an economist explains that the all-India performance was better than Tamil Nadu’s performance because of the lower base in 2020-21, during which the country had grown at a rate of minus 6.6%. Moreover, when several States had shown negative growth rates, Tamil Nadu had managed to have its rate on the positive side, the economist said.