NEW DELHI — The sudden withdrawal of 86 percent of India’s currency has left cash in short supply, retail sales stumbling and wholesale markets in turmoil.

That’s just the immediate fallout from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s surprise effort to stamp out corruption by making cash hoards in large denomination bills worthless. But what lies ahead could be even worse, some analysts say.

“Basically, you’ve created chaos,” said Steve H. Hanke, an applied economist at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore and a global authority on currency policy. “India is a cash economy. It’s not like Europe or the U.S. where everyone is running around with a credit card. That’s not the world of India.”

“It doesn’t look like this thing was thought through at all,” he said.

Every day or so, soothing assurances about India’s overnight currency reform spill from the offices of top government officials.

“Enough cash is available,” Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das said Thursday during a nationally televised press conference, as millions of people waited in hours-long lines. A few days earlier, the finance minister urged patience with what he called “a period of inconvenience.”

But the decision to ban India’s highest denomination bills, 500 rupee and 1,000 rupee notes worth about $7.50 and $15, goes far beyond an inconvenience.

India’s economy has become one of the world’s largest in recent years, but millions of businesses, and hundreds of millions of people, lack bank accounts and use cash to pay for everything from groceries to hospital stays to land purchases.