Gloomy days ahead

Its been 10 days since I returned to Homeland. My trip to San Jose was quite good, featuring 8 weeks of working with Yahoo teams in Santa Clara and Sunnyvale, while also spending most weekends traveling around the Bay Area. I managed to go to places like Santa Cruz, Big Sur, Monterey, Napa Valley, Livermore, San Francisco and Sausolito. I also visited my friend Vinayak at Toa Payoh, Singapore on my way back to India.

Anyhow, I will post my travel adventures and experiences at a later point of time. I am here to talk about something quite different. While I was there, I spent my mornings checking out news on CNN and got used to seeing at least the first few minutes of Issue #1 by Gerri Willis and Ali Velshi. I was quite disappointed to learn that most news in the American media was negative and was quite gloomy ahead of the apparent economic downturn in progress there. While prices of consumer goods are going up, the drastic increase in Gas prices, high credit costs and no real relief from the Govt is making everybody nervous out there.

While all this was happening, I wasn't feeling all that bad for India, since things didn't look so bad. It seemed that since I was not following mainstream India news, I was quite ignorant of the fact that India is equally gripped by all the vices that are making the lives of Americans so tough. Inflation has hit a crazy 11% and we have nothing going to stop the ascent of the prices. And though the growth story is better in India, official inability to fix things seem equally bad here as well.

While I was there, I was a confident ambassador for our country and wish to bring out the positives of our country and where its heading towards, I am not sure I can be that confident the next time around if things remain as bad. Just to put things in perspective, with GDP growing at 8-9% and with inflation at 3-4%, we were making real growth at about 5%. With growth at around 9% and inflation at 11%, we would actually receding by about 2% in real terms for this year. Now thats a real shocker.

Granted that though the 11% stats is a very real number but is only for a short period, and with enough fiscal steps at our end and possible letting up from outside, we could still manage a positive real growth by end of this fiscal year, but something in me says that gloomy days are here for sure.

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