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Nothing cheerful in Q3 GDP figures

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While government data claims that GDP growth in the third quarter has stayed at 7%, a closer look at the figures brings to fore the adverse effects of demonetisation

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]7 per cent growth rate new bottom line

By Parsa Venkateshwar Rao Jr

It is surprising that anyone should be surprised, shocked, elated, satisfied that that Quarter 3 economic indicators have not really gone down, and therefore infer that the November 8, 2016 demonetisation has not had any negative impact on the economy. A closer look at the figures shows that the numbers reveal no good news.

First, Q3 figures are lower than those of Q1 andQ2 for 2016-17. At constant prices (2011-12), the growth rate for Q 1 was 7.2 per cent, for Q2 it was 7.4 per cent and for Q3 7 per cent. At current prices, the figures are: Q1 (10.8 per cent), Q2 (11.8 per cent), Q3 (10.6). The sense of relief seems to arise from the fact that it was not as bad as expected. But in absolute terms, there is a distinct slip in Q3 compared to Q2, and a little less when Q3 figure is juxtaposed with Q1. To infer from this that demonetisation has not dampened growth figures is permissible indulgence but it does not speak well for the economy.

There is also need to compare the figures with 2015-16. The revised growth rate for 2016-17 is projected to be 7.1 per cent, compared to 7.9 per cent for 2015-16. The new measure for growth rate, the Gross Value Added (GVA) figure at constant prices shows that the projected growth rate for 2016-17 will be 6.7 per cent compared to the GVA growth rate of 7.8 per cent in 2015-16. It can once again be argued that this has nothing to do with demonetisation.

The other crucial indicators also show that the economy is not really picking up, demonetisation or no demonetisation. The mining and quarrying sector is set to grow at a GVA of 1.3 per cent in 2016-17 compared to 12.3 per cent in 2015-16. In the manufacturing sector, the estimated GVA growth rate for 2016-17 is 7.7 per cent compared to the 2015-16 growth rate of 10.6 per cent. The wholesale price index (WPI) for manufactured has moved from the negative territory of – (1.3) per cent in April-December 2015-16 to 2.3 per cent in April-December 2016-17.

The only positive growth figures, apart from agriculture, are in electricity, gas, water supply and other utility services, where a 6.6 per cent growth rate is expected for 2016-17 compared to the 5.1 per cent growth rate figure for 2015-16.  The Index of Industrial Production (IIP) figure for electricity for April-December 2016-17 is 5.1 per cent compared to 4.5 per cent for April-December 2015-16.

Construction, one of the drivers of growth, is expected to grow at GVA rate of 3.1 per cent in 2016-17 compared to 2.8 per cent in 2015-16. Cement consumption during April-December 2016-17 has increased by 2.8 per cent, and steel consumption by 3.3 per cent. It can be seen that there is no great spurt in growth as such.

In the service sector, comprising trade, hotels, transport and communication as well as broadcasting, the GVA growth rate for 2016-17 is expected to be 7.3 per cent compared to 10.7 per cent in 2015-16. The figure of 10.7 per cent growth in the sales tax collection in the states’ accounts between April-December 2016-17 is neither here nor there.

Growth in financial, insurance, real estate and other professional services is estimated to grow at the GVA basic prices (2011-12) by 6.5 per cent compared to 10.8 per cent growth rate in 2015-16.

The only area where there has been a spurt in growth in government spending (public administration, defence and other services) where it is expected to grow at 11.2 per cent in 2016-17 compared to 6.9 per cent in 2015-16.

The difference in growth rates in Q3 of 2016-17 compared to Q3 of 2015-16, especially in case of Private Final Consumption Expenditure (PFCE) and Government Final Capital Formation (GFCF) for Q3 in 2015-16 and 2016-17, is interesting but not puzzling. The PFCE in Q3 of 2016-17 stood at 58.7 per cent compared to 57.1 per cent in 2015-16, and the GFCF for Q 3 in 2016-17 is 29.1 per cent and in Q3 of 2015-16 it stood at 30.0 per cent.

The expectation that the effects of demonetisation should have been conspicuously evident in the Q3 figures is slightly misplaced. Demonetisation came into effect on November 9, 2016 and as Q3 is concerned its effects till December 31, 2016 are to be measured. But remember that Q3 begins on October 1, 2016, and a lot of expenditure would have occurred in the festival month of October, and whatever the downward slide in the second half of Q3 will not be too visible. We need weekly measures between November 9 and December 31, 2016, to get a measure of the effects of demonetisation.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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Vistara and Air India airlines to merge by March 2024

The latest notification states that SIA is also investing Rs 20,585 million in Air India as part of the transaction.

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Vistara and Air India airlines to merge

Tata Sons and Singapore Airlines (SIA) have agreed to merge Air India and Vistara airlines by March 2024. The latest notification states that SIA is also investing Rs 20,585 million in Air India as part of the transaction, giving SIA a 25.1 percent stake in the Air India group.

Currently, Tata Group holds 51 percent of the shares in Vistara, and Singapore Airlines has the remaining 49 percent. According to the release, SIA and Tata have also agreed to take part in future capital investments that may be necessary to finance the expansion and operations of the larger Air India in the fiscal years 2022–2023 and 2023–2024.

Tata Sons chairman N Chandrasekaran said that the merger of Vistara and Air India is an important milestone in their journey to make Air India a truly world-class airline. He said they are transforming Air India, with the aim of providing a great customer experience, every time, for every customer.

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He further said that as part of the transformation, Air India is focusing on growing both its network and fleet, revamping its customer proposition, and enhancing safety, reliability, and on-time performance. He stated that both Tata Sons and Singapore Airlines are excited about the opportunity of creating a strong Air India which would offer both full-service and low-cost services across domestic and international routes. He also thanked Singapore Airlines for their continued partnership.

SAI chief executive officer Goh Choon Phong said the merger provides an opportunity to deepen the company’s relationship with Tata and participate directly in an exciting new growth phase in India’s aviation market.

SAI chief executive officer Goh Choon Phong said Tata Sons is one of the most established and respected names in India. SIA’s collaboration to set up Vistara in 2013 resulted in a market-leading full-service carrier, which has won many global accolades in a short time. He said with this merger, SIA has an opportunity to deepen its relationship with Tata and participate directly in an exciting new growth phase in India’s aviation market. He further said that they will work together to support Air India’s transformation programme, unlock its significant potential, and restore it to its position as a leading airline on the global stage.

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Nykaa CFO Arvind Agarwal resigns

Arvind Agarwal earlier worked with Amazon and joined Nykaa in July 2020.

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Arvind Agarwal

Nykaa chief financial officer Arvind Agarwal resigned from his position on Tuesday. The fashion and beauty e-commerce platform announced his resignation.

In a BSE filing, Nykaa informed that Agarwal will be leaving the Company, effective close of business hours on November 25, 2022, to pursue other opportunities in the digital economy and start-up space.

Nykaa’s founder Falguni Nayar hailed Agarwal for the crucial role he played in the company’s emergence as a listed and profitable start-up. Nayar said the company is conscious of Agarwal’s personal dreams and wishes him all the luck.

Upon his resignation, Agarwal said his journey in Nykaa has been incredible so far and all his learning and experiences have set them up for pursuing different personal growth opportunities in the field. He further wished Nykaa good luck for the growth path ahead.

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Arvind Agarwal earlier worked with Amazon and joined Nykaa in July 2020. He was among the key managerial personnel and handled the initial public offer of the firm. Before Amazon, Agarwal worked with Vodafone India for more than 5 years. He had also worked with YOU Telecom, Adani Port, and Tata Teleservices.

Reports said Agarwal paid a total remuneration of Rs 19.58 million during the financial year 2021.

Apart from Nykaa, food delivery application Zomato also saw the resignation of its co-founder Mohit Gupta after 5 years of association with the company.

Gupta, in a message, stated that he decided to move on from Zomato to seek other unknown adventures. He also hailed Deepinder Goyal as he has become a more mature and confident leader who is capable of leading the business into a bright future.

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Jeff Bezos warns of recession, advises people to refrain from buying TV, fridge, cars during holiday season

The former CEO of Amazon also advised small business owners to put off purchasing new equipment in favour of increasing their cash reserves.

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Jeff Bezos warns of recession, advises people to refrain from buying TV, fridge, cars during holiday season

In light of the possibility of a global recession, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos advised consumers to refrain from making significant purchases during the holiday season. Given the state of the economy, he urged people to keep their money safe and refrain from irrational spending in the upcoming months.

The business tycoon said American families should avoid purchasing big-ticket items such as new cars, TVs, automobiles, and refrigerators as the US is staring at a recession. He said American household debt has reached a record high of $16.5 trillion, and people are switching to credit to get their ends meet.

The former CEO of Amazon also advised small business owners to put off purchasing new equipment in favour of increasing their cash reserves.

Bezos said Take some risk off the table, adding, Keep some dry powder on hand. Just a little bit of risk reduction could make the difference for that small business if we do get into even more serious economic problems. You’ve got to play the probabilities a little bit.

He said things are slowing down and many sectors of the economy are seeing layoffs, and this is why you should hold onto your money.

Meanwhile, the founder of Amazon stated in the same interview that he will contribute the majority of his $124 billion income to charitable organizations in order to combat climate change and to help those who can bring mankind together in the face of escalating social and political conflicts.

Bezos did not say how much of his money he intended to donate. But he said, Yeah, I do, in response to the question of whether he will donate a significant percentage of his wealth to charity.

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