Economists like KK George, who have spent a lifetime studying the "Kerala conundrum", say the state is facing a "second generation problem" of growth."Having fulfilled all millennium development goals, the state has no money left for higher investments.
And Kerala has not benefited directly from the rise of its biggest service industry, tourism.
Yet, today, Kerala is a straggler economy almost entirely dependent on tourism and remittances sent back by two million of its people who live and work abroad, mostly in the Gulf.
Joblessness is rife due to the lack of a robust manufacturing base - more than 15% in urban areas, three times the national average.
Its famed model of development, which is still touted as the most inclusive one, appears to have hit the buffers.
"The Kerala model is grinding to a halt because the social and political groups having fulfilled their original agenda now have no new agendas.Many believe that the skewed nature of the economy - it has been called the "money order economy" - is to blame.