Pandemic relapse spells trouble for India’s middle class

NEW DELHI (AP) — India’s economy was on the cusp of recovery when a new wave of infections swept the country, infecting millions, killing hundreds of thousands and forcing others to stay home. Cases are now tapering off, but many Indians face drastically worse prospects: salaried jobs are vanishing, incomes are dropping and inequality is on the rise. Experts say decades of progress in alleviating poverty are imperiled, and getting growth back on track hinges on the fate of the country’s diverse and sprawling middle class. Millions of salaried workers and small business people are struggling to hold onto their hard-earned gains and economists say the recovery may not be as robust for them as for elsewhere in the world.