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The big stories of the week gone by – in charts

The Reserve Bank of India is expected to hike the policy repo rate for the fourth consecutive time as its meeting concludes today (Photo: Mint)Premium
The Reserve Bank of India is expected to hike the policy repo rate for the fourth consecutive time as its meeting concludes today (Photo: Mint)

The RBI is set to announce its monetary policy review today, in which it is likely to hike the repo rate further to combat inflation. Indian companies are expected to offer a double-digit hike to its employees this year, a survey showed

Every Friday, Plain Facts publishes a compilation of data-based insights, complete with easy-to-read charts, to help you delve deeper into the stories reported by Mint in the week gone by. The Reserve Bank of India is set to announce its monetary policy review today, in which it is likely to hike the repo rate further to combat inflation. Indian companies are expected to offer a double-digit hike to its employees this year, a survey showed.

Global Tightening

The Reserve Bank of India is expected to hike the policy repo rate for the fourth consecutive time as its meeting concludes today. The central bank is facing elevated inflation concerns, while several central banks around the world have aggressively hike rates this month. Last week, the US Federal Reserve hiked the interest rate by 75 basis points. Over the past week, the UK, Switzerland, Vietnam, and Indonesia also hiked their policy rates.

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UK Crisis

Amid the global uncertainty, the UK seems to have exacerbated its problem by announcing £45 billion in tax cuts and £60 billion worth of energy support to households and businesses over the next six months, which will be funded by borrowing. This news, along with a strengthening of the dollar, led to a sharp depreciation in its currency. With a strong intervention from the Bank of England, the pound has managed to stay stronger than the dollar despite the recent crashes.

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Costly War

$2.8 trillion: This is the cost of the Russian-Ukraine war, said the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The war has led to a surge in gas prices, dislocated supply chains, shortage of food, and disrupted global stock markets. Global economic growth is likely to taper from 4.5% to 3% this year, OECD said. The war is likely to have a sharp impact on European economies struggling to compensate for the increase in gas prices.

Double-Digit Hike

Salaries are expected to increase by 10.4% in 2023 even amid a shrinking economy and rising inflation, consulting firm Aon’s 28th Salary Increase Survey has found. About 46% of organizations surveyed are expected to give double-digit pay hikes in 2023. However, attrition is still a concern for many employers. Besides robust salary hikes, companies are also trying to retain people by offering them incentives such as stock options. The survey covered 1,300 companies across 40 industries.

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No Saving Grace?

With the pandemic ebbing, Indian households began spending on goods and services and their savings rate fell to the lowest in five years in the year ended 31 March to 10.8% of gross domestic product (GDP), data from the Reserve Bank of India showed. The household savings rate had risen sharply in the early days of the covid-19 pandemic and reached 21% of GDP in Q1FY21 because of the curbs imposed. Low savings and high inflation may be a double-whammy for households.

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Bull’s Eye

22,500 kmph: The speed at which Nasa’s DART spacecraft crashed into an asteroid approximately 10.9 million kilometres from Earth. The asteroid in question, Dimorphos, wasn’t headed for Earth but was selected by the space agency to test its deflection technique. The spacecraft hit the asteroid just 17 metres away from its centre. The impact was observed by various telescopes, including the Hubble and James Webb Space telescopes.

Bitcoin Blues

Amid the global market rout, Bitcoin has remained untouched. The price of Bitcoin plunged to $19,498.26 from its most recent high of $22,673 on 13 September. The global markets are facing the heat of a sharp rise in the policy rate by the US Federal Reserve, which led to the strengthening of the dollar and the consequent depreciation of several currencies. The steep rate hikes by several central banks despite the recession bells have hit investors’ sentiments.

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Chart of the Week: Shorts’ popularity

At present, India has 300 million short-form video users, according to consulting firm Redseer. This is expected to rise to 550-600 million, or 67% of all smartphone users, by 2025, as local apps such as Josh fill the space left by the ban on TikTok in mid-2020.

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