NEW YORK - As its economic boom ends, India is suffering from a weak economy, soaring prices, neglected infrastructure and red tape, according to a US media report.

“Its economy now stands in disarray, with the prospect of worse to come in the next few months,” The New York Times reported in a dispatch from Mumbai.

Vinod Vanigota, a Mumbai wholesaler of imported computer hard drives, was cited as saying that sales dropped by a quarter in the last two weeks.

The Indian rupee has been so volatile in recent days that he began revising his price lists every half-hour, the newspaper said.

“The economic decline has laid bare chronic problems, little remarked upon during the recent boom,” the Times said in a front-page dispatch.

“An antiquated infrastructure, a sclerotic job market, exorbitant real estate costs and bloated state-owned enterprises never allowed manufacturing, especially manufacturing for export, to grow strong.”

As part of efforts to tide over the economic difficulties, India brought in a Reserve Bank governor on Wednesday.

Raghuram Rajan, the governor, sought to reassure investors unnerved by the turmoil in local markets by emphasizing the importance of transparency and consistency in the central bank’s actions.

India, the world’s second-most-populous country after China and Asia’s third-largest economy, after China and Japan, has been among the hardest hit by a pullback of investors from emerging markets in anticipation of tighter global liquidity.

The country has a large current-account deficit because imports far exceed exports. Because that deficit must be financed by foreign money, India has been especially vulnerable to the shift in investor sentiment, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The rupee fell further and faster in August against the dollar than any of the world’s 77 other internationally traded currencies as investors in affluent countries took their money home for higher returns, the Times said. It was down 20 percent since May, a period in which the stock market followed suit and fell almost 8 percent.

The real estate market is teetering after soaring to vertiginous heights over the last few years. Cranes on Mumbai’s skyline perch nearly immobilized as developers struggle for cash.

The things the emerging middle class coveted, Chevrolets, iPhones and foreign vacations, have all jumped sharply in price in recent weeks, the dispatch said.

The price increases threaten to worsen consumer price inflation — already among the highest in Asia at an annual rate of almost 10 percent — and widen the country’s already large international trade deficit and government budget deficit.

India’s government is now bracing the country for a swift increase in the price of diesel fuel and other imported necessities priced in dollars, it said. Diesel is the lifeblood of the Indian economy, from the trucks that crawl along the country’s jammed, potholed roads to the backyard generators that struggle to compensate for the high-cost yet unreliable electricity grid.

Some economists say that they hope India will have only a V-shaped economic downturn, with a rebound starting by early next year if a weak rupee rejuvenates India’s struggling exporters.

The root of the problem is India’s failure to create a vibrant industrial base with the strength to export, WAJ said. As Western buyers scour Asia for alternatives to increasingly expensive Chinese factories, India and its enfeebled manufacturing sector are mostly ignored.

Poor infrastructure has also driven up costs for industrial real estate in India, which are high compared with China’s, according to the Times. Just in the last five years, China has opened 5,800 miles of high-speed rail routes and 400,000 miles of highways of two or more lanes. That has allowed tens of thousands of factories to move to smaller towns in the interior with much lower land costs.

India has been unable to open up its interior the same way, building half as many miles of highways over the same period and no high-speed rail routes. At the same time, rent control and other land regulations make it extremely difficult to tear down and replace even the most dilapidated buildings.

So cities like Mumbai have ended up with dozens of square miles of mold-stained, low-rise buildings with spots of bright green fungus, interspersed by the occasional skyscrapers that were somehow built.

Remote, outer fringes of factories and office buildings have sprouted on what was once farmland.

The acute shortage of real estate less than a day’s drive from ports has produced steep real estate prices and rents, the dispatch said. Challenge Overseas, a trousers manufacturer, paid $1.3 million five years ago to buy the 20,000-square-foot top floor of a decrepit, four-story factory building with blocked fire escapes on a muddy alley on the outskirts of Mumbai, and sold it for $2.7 million last month. The floor underneath, the company’s 60-employee factory, sold for $410,000 in 2003 and is now valued at $1.2 million.

Roads and bridges to inland towns are not the only infrastructure problem. Shakti Industries, which thins and cuts aluminum wires for jewelry manufacturers, pays the equivalent of 15 to 18 cents per kilowatt-hour for electricity. In China, even after a round of price increases coming in late September to pay for more clean energy, factory owners will pay half as much.