Before GDP Data Due Today, Here Are 10 Things To Know About Economy

In a spate of announcements within a week, the government has eased FDI rules and encouraged banks to make loans cheaper to push growth.

Before GDP Data Due Today, Here Are 10 Things To Know About Economy

A downturn in Asia's third-largest economy is denting sales of everything from cars to clothing

The government will release data on gross domestic product (GDP) for the quarter ended June 30 today. Many economists expect the data to show that the expansion in India's GDP slowed for a fifth quarter in a row. According to a poll by news agency Reuters, the country's GDP growth likely stood at 5.7 per cent in the first quarter of the current financial year. If that prediction comes true, it would mark the lowest rate of economic growth recorded since the quarter ended March 2014, when it had stood at 5.3 per cent. A downturn in Asia's third-largest economy is denting sales of everything from cars to clothing, forcing companies to curtail production. In a spate of announcements within a week, the government has eased foreign investment rules and encouraged banks to make loans cheaper to revive growth.

Here are 10 things to know about the economy today:

  1. Auto sales: Domestic passenger vehicle sales plunged nearly 31 per cent in July, according to data from industry body SIAM. That marked the worst drop since December 2000 when the industry sold a fifth of the vehicles it sells currently.

  2. Job cuts: News agency Reuters earlier this month reported automakers, component manufacturers and dealers had already cut 3.5 lakh jobs.

  3. Consumption: Many analysts have flagged a weakening consumption over the past few weeks, affecting production and sales across sectors. Parle Products, the country's largest biscuit maker, has said it might lay off up to 10,000 workers as slowing economic growth and falling demand in the rural heartland could cause production cuts.

  4. Contagion effect: Fears of a contagion effect surfaced last year, after the collapse of Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services (IL&FS) highlighted a liquidity crunch in the non-banking financial services sector.

  5. Frauds in banking sector: The RBI in its annual report said frauds in the banking system increased 74 per cent to Rs. 71,543 crore in financial year 2018-19. The average lag between the date of occurrence of frauds and their detection by banks was 22 months, the RBI noted.

  6. FDI liberalisation: In its bid to push investments and revive growth, the government has announced a range of measures in the past few days, including easing of FDI or foreign direct investment norms in four sectors. Analysts say the relaxation of norms is likely to make India a more lucrative market for global retailers such as Apple and IKEA.

  7. Investor sentiment: Last week, the government took a slew of steps - including a reversal of higher taxes on foreign investors as announced in Budget - to push growth, as it aims to make the country a $5-trillion economy in five years. The government has also said that more measures are in the pipeline and would be brought in the coming weeks.

  8. FII outflow: Foreign institutional investors have pulled out a net Rs 29,384 crore from Indian equities so far since July, after net purchases worth Rs 82,910 crore in the past five months, data from NSDL shows. According to CARE Ratings chief economist Madan Sabnavis, the withdrawal of higher taxes on FPIs can support dollar inflows, but it does not have a direct bearing on GDP growth.

  9. Financial markets: As of Thursday's close, the S&P BSE Sensex benchmark index has declined 2,839.13 points - or 7.11 per cent - since the budget announcements on July 5, following a year-to-date gain of 3,839.73 points (10.65 per cent). A poll of over 50 strategists - who cited worries about the ongoing economic slowdown and weak corporate earnings - by Reuters showed the Sensex index will gain to 38,400 by the end of the calendar year 2019.

  10. Fiscal deficit: The government has secured more fiscal space to stimulate the economy with a windfall Rs 1.76 lakh crore from the RBI. The record transfer will boost the government's finances at a time it strives to defend its ambitious target of containing the fiscal deficit at 3.3 per cent of GDP.



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