The Indian economy has exited recession after two consecutive quarters of de-growth as the gross domestic product (GDP) expanded by 0.4 per cent in the three months ended December 2020 as against a contraction of 7.3 per cent in the September quarter. India is among the few major economies to post growth in the last quarter of 2020. For the full year, GDP is estimated to contract by 8 per cent in the financial year, the National Statistical Office (NSO) said in a press release.
Cryptocurrency bitcoin hit a market capitalization of $1 trillion as it surged to achieve yet another record high of $56,399.99 on Friday, February 19, continuing its bull stint fuelled by gaining further acceptance from mainstream investors and corporate majors. The world's most popular cryptocurrency surged to an all-time high, crossing the $57,000 mark on Saturday, posting a weekly gain of 18 per cent. It has surged nearly 70 per cent so far this month and was last up 8.75 per cent at $57,107.2. The digital currency countered analyst warnings that it is an 'economic side show' and a poor hedge against a fall in stock prices.
Bitcoin Vs Dollar: Achieving a historic milestone, cryptocurrency bitcoin hit an all-time high record, breaching the $50,000 mark on Tuesday, February 16, continuing its broader bull run after Elon Musk's electric vehicle company Tesla Inc announced a $1.5 billion investment in the world's most famous cryptocurrency. Bitcoin hit an all-time high record of $50,602, amid its dizzying rally mostly fuelled by big investors who are beginning to take digital assets seriously. The digital currency has gained almost 72 per cent this year and Tesla's investment has proved to be a big stride towards mainstream acceptance for the cryptocurrency.
Consumer price inflation in the country eased to 4.06 per cent in January 2021 from 4.59 per cent in December 2020, amid a sharp decline in food prices. Consumer inflation in January 2021, fell to a 16-month low, according to data released by the ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI), on Friday, February 12. The annual retail inflation last month was reported as the lowest since September 2019, and below the 4.45 per cent forecast in a Reuters poll of economists. The retail food prices, which comprise nearly half of the country's inflation basket, increased 1.89 per cent in January from a year earlier, against 3.41 per cent in December 2020.
The industrial production in the country grew by one per cent in December 2020, after registering a contraction of 1.9 per cent in November 2020, government data showed on Friday, February 12. According to the Index of Industrial Production (IIP) data released by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI), the manufacturing sector output grew by 1.6 per cent in December 2020. The mining output declined by 4.8 per cent, while power generation grew 5.1 per cent during the month. The IIP had grown by 0.4 per cent in December 2019. Industrial production has been hit due to the COVID-19 pandemic since March last year when IIP contracted by 18.7 per cent during the month.
Indian Railways rolled out its first air-conditioned three-tier economy class coach on Wednesday, February 10. The Railway Ministry has pegged the new economy class coach to be the cheapest and best air-conditioned travel in the world. The coaches will be economical and in between the current non-AC sleeper class coach and AC three-tier coach. The coach is also expected to enhance the capacity of express trains and is manufactured with new technologically-advanced features.
Bitcoin Vs Dollar: Bitcoin achieved a fresh all-time high record on Tuesday, February 9, trading over $47,000 and climbing as high as $48,143 against the US dollar after Elon Musk's electric vehicle company Tesla Inc announced a $1.5 billion investment in the world's largest cryptocurrency. Bitcoin surged as high as 6.3 per cent to $47,494 in Asian trading as investors reckoned that the virtual currency would become a mainstream asset class for both corporates as well as money managers. Ever since Tesla announced that it would soon accept bitcoin as a form of payment for cars, the cryptocurrency's price surged higher.
India's gross domestic product (GDP) will grow at 10.5 per cent in FY22 as the economy is bouncing back from a low base after this pandemic stricken year, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Shaktikanta Das said and exuded confidence that the Indian economy is poised to move only in one direction - upwards. "It is our strong conviction backed by forecasts, that in FY22 we will undo the damage that Covid-19 has inflicted on the economy. After the chaos and despair of the year gone by through which we have sailed together, we shall continue to sail ahead," the RBI Governor said.
Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Shaktikanta Das said the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) has decided to maintain key policy rates at existing levels, saying that the "need of the hour is to back growth." The Reserve Bank kept the repo rate unchanged at 4 per cent and reverse repo rate untouched at 3.35 per cent. Mr Das also gave an assurance that the central bank would continually support the economy's recovery from the pandemic by ensuring ample liquidity in the system. The policy decision comes at the end of the first meeting of the six-member Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) after Budget 2021.
Budget 2021 Tax Highlights: In a major tax relief for senior citizens, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman while presenting Budget 2021 announced that citizens aged 75 years and above, who only have pension and interest income are now exempted from filing the tax returns. In last year's budget, a major cut in the tax rates for the salaried class was announced, which, Ms Sitharaman said, was to simplify the tax regime in the country. However, this year, no major changes in corporate or personal income tax rates were announced.
Budget 2021: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented Budget 2021 on February 1, 2021, in the Lok Sabha, aimed at reviving the economy battered by the coronavirus pandemic. Ms Sitharaman said that the country's healthcare spending would be doubled to Rs 2,23,846 crore and added that Rs 35,000 crore would be spent on COVID-19 vaccines. Budget 2021 also announced infrastructure projects for poll-bound states of West Bengal, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and Assam. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Finance Minister said that the budget was prepared in circumstances like never before.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, announcing Budget 2021 aimed at reviving an economy badly hit by the coronavirus pandemic, said the country's healthcare spending would be doubled to Rs 2,23,846 crore and added that 35,000 crore would be spent on Covid vaccines. Capital expenditure will be increased to Rs 5.54 lakh crore, which is around 34 per cent higher than last year. The government also announced infrastructure projects in states like Bengal and Assam, where polls are due by May. While there were no big tax announcements, the Finance Minister announced a reprieve for pensioners who are 75-plus, will no longer be required to file tax returns. Ms Sitharaman said the Budget was prepared in circumstances like never before and that the government was fully prepared to back and facilitate a reset of the economy.
Budget 2021: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will present the Budget in Parliament today, at a time when the country is facing a once-in-a-lifetime health crisis. Ms Sitharaman will have the unenviable task of managing the government's battered finances and ensuring a recovery in demand. This year's Budget will be unique as it will be paperless, in a significant break from tradition, due to the Covid 19 pandemic. The finance minister will use a tablet computer to deliver a paperless Budget address. It will be a 'Made in India' tablet computer, according to reports. The speech will be available as a soft copy online.
ICICI Bank Limited reported a 19 per cent growth in net profit to Rs 4,940 crore for the October-December quarter in the current financial year, as compared to Rs 4,146 crore in the year-ago period. The private sector lender reported growth in domestic and retail loans amid strong credit demand in the third quarter. ICICI Bank posted a net profit of Rs 4,251 crore in the second quarter of the current financial year.
GameStop, a struggling US video game retailer, has seen its stock surge about 1,000 per cent in two weeks after a group of amateur investors active on the online forum Reddit banded together to fight the Wall Street funds that had pushed its price lower. A surge of retail stock trading over the last year lit the fuse that sent shares of GameStop Corp rocketing higher without a clear business reason.