A recent news item in The Times of India (April 18, 2006, Kolkata Edition) shares some interesting data about the growth of consumer debt in India, based on loans given by banks:
Unfortunately, the article does not explain the implications of the more than 22-fold growth of "personal loans" - from Rs.5,288/-crores to Rs.1,20,120/-crores, which account for more than 45% of loans taken by the Indians.
Times sure have changed... a couple of decades back, being in debt was a social stigma. One saved, and then one spent/bought assets. Now, apparently, one buys and then pays... being in debt increases one's "credit worthiness". And if it is a mass phenomenon, then it is an indicator of "consumer confidence", a healthy symptom of a growing economy.
So, Does this mean that India is
-a booming economy?
-a nation in increasing debt?