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The week that was, in charts: inflation, asset monetization

India’s retail inflation was already at a worrying level in February. The Russia-Ukraine war pushed it to a 17-month high of 6.95% in March, mainly on account of a sharper-than-expected spike in food and manufactured goods prices  (Photo: HT)Premium
India’s retail inflation was already at a worrying level in February. The Russia-Ukraine war pushed it to a 17-month high of 6.95% in March, mainly on account of a sharper-than-expected spike in food and manufactured goods prices  (Photo: HT)

Every week, Plain Facts publishes a compilation of data-based insights—complete with easy-to-read visual charts—to help you delve deeper into the stories reported by Mint

Every week, Plain Facts publishes a compilation of data-based insights—complete with easy-to-read visual charts—to help you delve deeper into the stories reported by Mint. This week we look at the spike in retail inflation following the war, the government’s push for asset monetisation, and a recent LinkedIn survey that reveals struggles faced by women at workplace. Here’s more:

Inflation surge

India’s retail inflation was already at a worrying level in February. The Russia-Ukraine war pushed it to a 17-month high of 6.95% in March, mainly on account of a sharper-than-expected spike in food and manufactured goods prices. This is the third straight month in which Consumer Price Index inflation has been above the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI’s) upper tolerance limit of 6%. In the current quarter, too, RBI expects inflation to stay elevated at 6.3%.

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Digital tax

India’s collections from the equalization levy, or the so-called Google tax, have risen at an average year-on-year growth rate of 90% over the past five years. However, this trend may soon come to an end, with India signing a compromise pact with the US effective 1 April. The pact will end a 2% tax on non-resident entities, such as Netflix, Facebook, and Google, and also protect Indian products from retaliatory tariffs up to 25% levied by the US.

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Beating target

96,000 crore: That’s the amount the government has garnered by opting for asset monetization in 2021-22. It has exceeded the target by 8,000 crore. Asset monetization in sectors such as roads, power, and mining of coals and minerals has helped the government surpass the target. For the current year, the government is likely to set the target at more than 1.6 trillion, which various ministries are currently processing.

Tourism boost

Economic activity picked up rapidly after restrictions imposed in 2020 following the coronavirus outbreak were lifted, but the tourism industry struggled to find its feet. This seems to be changing, data shows. Nights booked in some of Airbnb destinations in India suggest that tourism and hospitality are exceeding pre-pandemic levels in 2021-22. Lonavala, Kullu, Shimla, Kangra and Chikkamagaluru are among those that crossed pre-pandemic levels of Airbnb bookings.

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Winning streak

Recently, HDFC Bank and HDFC Ltd announced the merger of the two entities. The bank has an impressive record of 20% or more year-on-year growth in its advances in 17 of the past 20 years. HDFC Bank is already India’s largest private sector bank by assets and the second-largest bank overall by advances. The merger of the private sector lender with the housing-finance parent is expected to make the entity stronger.

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Chart 4

Robust revenues

50,591 crore: That’s the revenue Tata Consultancy Services Ltd (TCS) reported in the quarter ended March, beating the street expectation of 50,249 crore. However, the company’s quarterly profit rose 7.4% year-on-year to 9,926 crore, trailing expectations, as higher employee costs curbed earnings. On a trailing 12-month basis, the company’s attrition rate increased to 17.4% from 15.3% in the previous quarter.

Women’s struggles

Several companies are now adopting the back-to-office policy, which is likely to have an impact on workers. A recent survey conducted by LinkedIn indicates that seven out of 10 working women had left their jobs or are considering leaving them in the absence of flexible work policies. While more than 80% of women surveyed preferred flexible work timings and hybrid work policy, only about 30% were offered those by the companies.

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Chart 5

Chart of the week: Field lead

The 22nd edition of the FIFA World Cup will be held in Qatar this November. As many as 13 European countries will compete in Qatar. Historical data shows Europe dominates the space, with its cumulative appearances at the World Cup notably higher than other continents.

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Chart 6

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