India inflation

Investors have been awaiting an upturn in India’s economy since Narendra Modi, prime minister, took power in May. But a raft of recent data paints a mixed picture, with inflation moderating while slack industrial production conflicts with some robust consumer spending signals.

The Wholesale Price Index (WPI), out on Monday, confirmed that inflation is easing, reaching a 58-month low of 3.74 per cent year-on-year in August from 5.19 per cent in July. Continue reading »

India’s central bank left interest rates unchanged for a third straight meeting and tweaked a banking regulation to encourage lending as Raghuram Rajan, governor, sought a balance between promoting economic growth and maintaining vigilance against inflation.

Rajan kept the benchmark repurchase rate at 8 per cent, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said in a statement on Tuesday, as economists had widely expected. The statutory liquidity ratio – which mandates how much banks must invest in government bonds – was reduced to 22 per cent of net liabilities from 22.5 per cent, effectively freeing up funds for lending. Continue reading »

Jimmy Choos under your sari and an African safari for the Diwali long weekend?

A new report by Kotak Wealth Management and Ernst & Young – Top of the Pyramid 2014 – finds that India’s super rich are “ready for change” as a strong new government comes to power in New Delhi – and they’re spending to prove it.

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Narendra Modi won a clear majority in India’s recent general elections, relieving him of the trouble of having to head a motley coalition. But the new prime minister does face some other tough balancing acts.

As the beyondbrics team travelled around India during the campaign – from the slums of Mumbai to Modi’s native Gujarat – we found people everywhere complaining at rising prices, with food at the heart of the problem. India’s central bank will make its first interest rate decision under the new government on Tuesday, as the new government seeks to strike the right balance between reining in prices and urging on growth. Continue reading »

While exploring Dharavi, one of Mumbai’s largest slums, earlier this week we found there was one complaint that most residents had with the current government: inflation. When we asked what the biggest change has been in the five years since the last election, Mohammed Raza Khan, 40, told us: “Prices have gone up a lot that’s the biggest change… The poor are fed up.”

Under its governor, Raghuram Rajan, India’s central bank has cracked down on the problem by hiking rates and put forward an inflation targetting regime. But will the El Niño weather phenomenon – which usually mean drought for Asia - sabotage recent improvements? Continue reading »

By Surjit Bhalla

I’m a natural optimist, but there are still plenty of good reasons to be positive about India’s growth, even if May’s election does not go the way polls suggest. Perhaps the best way to appreciate this is just to assume that this is not one of the most important polls in India’s democratic lifetime. What would you expect to happen? For starters: the normal improvements of the business cycle. Continue reading »

Infosys kicked off earnings season on Tuesday morning and inflation numbers were released later in the day, putting the spotlight on business and the macroeconomy in India.

Beyondbrics took a look at the latest opinion polls and the more charismatic but yet less politically active of the Gandhi siblings – Priyanka Gandhi. Continue reading »

Raghuram Rajan, governor of the Reserve Bank of India, may be right when he dismisses the link between inflation and growth – if Indian shoppers are anything to go by.

Rajan has been hiking the repo lending rate since he took office in September, looking to control inflation. And quite right too, says KPMG: it seems that high inflation is hitting consumer confidence in Asia’s third largest economy. Continue reading »

Raghuram Rajan, governor of the Reserve Bank of India (pictured), rarely fails to surprise.

He wished everyone “happy new year” with a 25 basis point hike in the repo lending rate on Tuesday – bringing it to 8 per cent – and added the woeful statement that economic growth would lose momentum in the third quarter of the current financial year.

The decision to hike rates goes against expectations, with economists in a Reuters poll last week forecasting that Rajan would hold steady. Continue reading »

As India’s current account deficit ballooned to unsustainable levels last year, the government slammed the breaks on gold imports with duty hikes and new rules on re-export of the yellow metal. The result was that the jewellery industry hit a standstill.

However, according to Pakistani authorities, India’s official inflows of gold have simply shifted to unofficial channels. Time for action. Continue reading »

India rejoice! Vegetable prices are easing up. That’s helping bring inflation down to single digits. It’s good news for the public and even better news for the government, given high food prices can prove make or break ahead of general elections.

But is this enough to keep the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) from raising rates again later this month? Continue reading »

Surprise! On Wednesday, India’s central bank kept the repo lending rate steady at 7.75 per cent and the cash reserve ratio at 4 per cent.

That went against the expectations of investors, analysts and economists who thought Raghuram Rajan, the governor of the Reserve Bank of India, would raise interest rates once again to crack the whip on inflation. Continue reading »

Counting them

India’s November inflation – the Wholesale Price Index version – is out and, once again, the news is worse than expected.

Year-on-year prices were up 7.52 per cent, compared with the 7 per cent forecast by Bloomberg and clocked in the previous month. Along with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) data released last week, it suggests the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will indeed hike the repo lending rate on Wednesday. Continue reading »

Those were the days

At the stroke of midnight on New Year’s eve 2012, many private clubs and bars in India held a minute’s silence and others cancelled parties altogether, to mark the horrific gang rape of a 23 year-old student in the nation’s capital.

One year on, it seems women’s safety remains an issue. Much of India’s urban population is choosing to bring in the New Year at home this year. Continue reading »