1. Inflation up in August
Consumer price index-based inflation rose for the second consecutive month in August. Inflation rose by 3.36% from 2.36% in July on the back of rising food inflation. Wholesale prices rose 3.24% in August. This was expected, owing to a seasonal rise in food prices as well as due to the disruption of supply chains caused by the implementation of the goods and services tax.
2. Rail freight volumes rise
Container volumes at major ports rose by 8.4% in August year-on-year, while railway freight traffic also rose 7.7%. Both figures show a recovery in trade. Analysts have noted that freight traffic data indicates a continued increase in market share. The railways may also have been helped by a recent rise in diesel prices.
3. HDFC Bank is India’s most valued brand
HDFC Bank has become India’s topmost brand, according to a report by marketing and advertising conglomerate WPP Plc and Kantar Millward Brown. The report ranked 50 brands, with Airtel and State Bank of India coming in second and third, respectively. The report also noted that consumer goods brands had been hit by demonetisation.
4. Japanese PM visits Gujarat
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit to Gujarat saw Indian counterpart Narendra Modi laying the foundation stone of the Mumbai-Ahmedabad high-speed rail project or bullet train in Ahmedabad. The bullet train aims to reduce the travel time between Ahmedabad and Mumbai to about two hours from the present eight hours. Later, at the India-Japan annual summit, the two leaders promised to resist protectionism.
5. Jet Airways posts June quarter results
Jet Airways (India) Ltd’s June quarter net profit more than doubled on the back of stable domestic growth, higher other income and gains on foreign exchange. The airline’s profits rose to Rs53.5 crore, up from Rs25.88 crore a year ago. However, higher operating costs, especially fuel costs, rose about 450 basis points from a year ago.
6. Nadal wins US Open
Last Sunday, Rafael Nadal won his second Grand Slam trophy this year at the US Open finals. He won 6-3, 6-3, 6-4 against his opponent, Kevin Anderson. The win saw Nadal’s tally of Grand Slam titles rise to 16, second only to Roger Federer’s 19. Federer was defeated in the quarterfinals by Juan Martin del Potro.
7. Growth slows in China
Data released on Thursday showed the weakest growth in fixed-asset investment in almost 18 years in China. Factory output in August fell to the weakest levels in nine months, rising only 6% year-on-year. Fixed asset investment rose 7.8% in the first eight months of 2017. Retail sales rose 10.1%, down from the 10.4% in July.
8. Rohingya flee Myanmar
Almost 300,000 Rohingya Muslim refugees have fled Rakhine State and entered Bangladesh since the beginning of violence in Myanmar two weeks ago. The UN has termed the exodus as a “textbook example of ethnic cleansing”. Refugees have recorded accounts of assault and destruction by the Myanmar army and Buddhist mobs. On Thursday, India sent 53 tonnes of relief material for refugees in Bangladesh.
9. India at bottom quartile of Human Capital Index 2017
India was ranked 103rd amongst 130 countries in the World Economic Forum’s Human Capital Report 2017. Last year, India was ranked 105 out of 130 countries. The report blamed India’s relatively lower youth literacy rate (89%), poor labour force participation rates for its poor rank. However, it favourably appraised India for education quality, staff training and economic complexity.
10. iPhone X launched
On the 10th anniversary of the iPhone, Apple launched its latest iteration, the iPhone X. The phone features a face-recognition technology and a new A11 Bionic processor that is 75% faster than its predecessor. The phone features wireless charging on the glass back, and has been priced at $1,000. It will be available in India from 3 November.
Graphics by Prajakta Patil
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