NEW DELHI—India’s economy, one of the hardest hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, started growing again last quarter, but the recovery is being driven by those with the highest incomes, while the poor are still struggling.
The country’s gross domestic product grew by 0.4% in the three months through Dec. 31, driven by India’s biggest companies and richest consumers. They emerged from the worst of the Covid-19 crisis last year with more savings and lower costs, and are now lifting growth as the spread of the virus slows.
But the millions of small family businesses and farms that employ more than 80% of the populace and make up the informal economy have had the opposite experience. Its businesses and consumers have had to dip into savings and seen demand disappear, said
chief executive for the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy, an independent think tank in Mumbai.
“If you are a carpenter or a plumber or a…