Does autocratic rule help or hurt economic processes?

There is no general answer to that. Autocratically ruled China saw fantastic economic development in the last 30 years; autocratically ruled Zimbabwe in the same period was brought from reasonably prosperous to dirt poor by its Government. The progress of economic development has more to to with things like a people's entrepreneurial spirit, a Government's focus on and choices in economic development, levels of corruption in a country etcetera.