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Home / Economy / Data recap of the week: inflation, lost wealth & GDP growth

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 examine how inflation is expected to move following several measures announced by the government, how much dividend public sector banks are expected to pay to the government, and how GDP growth panned out in Jan-Mar.

Inflation on fire

India’s inflation is expected to shoot up to a multi-year high in this financial year despite the steps announced by the government last week to ease pressures. A median of the estimates of eight economists indicates that inflation will jump to 6.7% in FY23, the highest print under the government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. This exceeds the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI’s) forecast of 5.7%, which could be revised upward in the meeting next month.

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Lost wealth

AS THE stock markets faced heat this year, the 50 richest people in the world lost more than half a trillion dollars in net worth, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Among the wealthiest people, Elon Musk lost $69.1 billion, Jeff Bezos $61.1 billion, and Mark Zuckerberg $54.1 billion. The loss of wealth, according to a Bloomberg report, exceeds the GDP of Sweden and is also greater than the market caps of all but six companies in the S&P 500.

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Some relief

8,000 crore: That’s the amount the government is expected to receive from public sector banks, Mint reported. This could offer some relief in the middle of an expected drain in the coffers because of fuel tax cuts and an increase in subsidies. The generous payout is also expected to provide a buffer against the RBI’s lower-than-expected 30,307 crore dividend paid to the government for the previous financial year.

Poor performance

For A long time, India has been trying to capitalize on travel and tourism to give a boost to the country’s economy. However, India seems to be performing poorly against other nations in this regard, according to the World Economic Forum’s Travel & Tourism Development Index 2021 rankings. India fell eight spots to rank 54 on the index, behind its peers China at 12 and Indonesia at 32. Japan, the US and Spain secured the top three positions.

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Speed breaker

The Indian economy was on a steady recovery track until 2021. However, a series of adverse events could have impacted the pace of growth in the quarter that ended in March because of rising price pressures and disruptions caused by the Omicron variant of coronavirus. GDP growth is expected to have slowed to 3.9% in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year from 5.4% in the December quarter, according to the median estimate of 21 economists polled by Mint.

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Expansion plan

2,195 crore: That’s the amount Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail Ltd, the Indian maker of Van Heusen and Allen Solly apparel brands, is expected to raise by selling a 7.5% stake to Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC. The company plans to use the money to expand its presence in the branded apparel space. Following the completion of the transaction, Aditya Birla Group will hold 51.9% stake in the company.

Few takers

The RBI launched the Retail Direct scheme last November to foster retail participation in government bonds. However, the scheme has not found too many takers till now. Retail investors purchased government bonds worth only 96 crore in the six months since the scheme was launched, according to a response to a right to information query by Mint. After an encouraging start to the scheme, the interest in it has largely been on a decline.

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Chart of the week: In disarray

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Half of all Indians told the National Family Health Survey 2019-21 that they do not use the government healthcare system. While long waiting times were the top reason for not using such facilities in the northern states, for poorer states the top reason was poor quality of care.

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