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The stories of the coming week—in charts

The bimonthly meeting of the RBI’s rate-setting panel will take place on 3-5 August to decide on key policy rates. US brokerage firm BofA Securities has predicted another rate hike of 35 basis points, which would take it above its pre-pandemic level of 5.15% (Photo: Mint)Premium
The bimonthly meeting of the RBI’s rate-setting panel will take place on 3-5 August to decide on key policy rates. US brokerage firm BofA Securities has predicted another rate hike of 35 basis points, which would take it above its pre-pandemic level of 5.15% (Photo: Mint)

The RBI will hold its monetary policy meeting this week even as central banks globally face the growth-inflation trade-off again. The Pro Kabaddi League will hold player auctions, and Rakesh Jhunjhunwala-backed Akasa Air will start commercial operations this week

Every Monday, Mint’s Plain Facts section features key data releases and events to look for in the coming week. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will hold its monetary policy meeting this week even as central banks globally face the growth-inflation trade-off again. The Pro Kabaddi League will hold player auctions, and Rakesh Jhunjhunwala-backed Akasa Air will start commercial operations this week.

1. RBI policy

The bimonthly meeting of the RBI’s rate-setting panel will take place on 3-5 August to decide on key policy rates. Since early May, the committee has hiked the repo rate by a cumulative 90 basis points to fight inflationary pressures arising out of the Ukraine war. US brokerage firm BofA Securities has predicted another rate hike of 35 basis points, which would take it above its pre-pandemic level of 5.15%. Global commodity prices have begun to decline from record highs, but that may not have too much bearing on the RBI’s decision yet. This is because at 7%, retail inflation in June was still higher than the RBI’s upper bound target of 6%. Meanwhile, the RBI has the added headache of responding to global recession fears even as it tackles inflation. The committee’s inflation and growth forecasts will also be watched out for as international ratings agencies have recently downgraded India’s GDP predictions for 2022.

2. VP elections

The election for the 14th vice president of India will be held on 6 August. The Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) has fielded former West Bengal governor Jagdeep Dhankhar as its candidate, while the United Progressive Alliance has named Margaret Alva.

Unlike the presidential elections, where even state assemblies are involved in voting, the election of vice president is restricted to members of the Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha. The NDA, with a combined strength of nearly 60% seats in the two Houses, is comfortably placed to vote in Dhankhar to the position. The strength of the opposition parties has been dented after Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress decided to not back Alva. The West Bengal party has a combined strength of 36 seats in the two Houses. The election comes days after Droupadi Murmu was elected the 15th President. She became the only tribal person and the second woman, after Pratibha Patil, to hold the post.

3. India PMI

India's PMI data for July is due this week—for the manufacturing sector on Monday and for the services sector on Wednesday. While services growth remains strong, high inflation and elevated input costs are proving to be a big drag on manufacturing. In June, the sector saw its weakest growth in nine months, as the index slipped to 53.9 from 54.6 in May. A print above 50 means expansion. S&P Global, the agency that releases the data, noted that the recovery of the manufacturing sector was aided by robust domestic and international client demand, but growth of total sales and production slowed amid intense price pressures. Factory orders and production showed an uptick for the 12th straight month, but in both cases the rates of expansion slowed to nine-month lows. The outlook for the sector remains subdued.

4. Akasa Air

India’s newest airline, Akasa Air, is all set to begin commercial operations with two Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft from Thursday.

The inaugural flight will be between Mumbai and Ahmedabad. On 13 August, Akasa will start operations on the Bengaluru-Kochi route, followed by flights on the Bengaluru-Mumbai route from 19 August. Just within a few weeks of the inaugural flight, the airline will be running 82 weekly flights as per its latest plan.

The Rakesh Jhunjhunwala-backed airline’s inaugural flight has already been sold out, according to media reports. The company, in a statement, said it has a strong focus on improving connectivity to tier-II and tier-III cities. The airline also said it will add two aircraft every month and will have 18 aircraft in its fleet by the end of 2023. The company is targeting a fleet of 72 aircraft in the next five years.

5. Pro Kabaddi League auction

More than 500 players will go under the hammer in Mumbai on 5-6 August for the ninth edition of Pro Kabbadi League. A total of 111 players have been retained across the 12 franchises.

All the players will be divided into four categories: A (base price 30 lakh), B ( 20 lakh), C ( 10 lakh) and D ( 6 lakh). Pradeep Narwal will be the star player to watch out for after his team UP Yoddha decided not to retain him. The Indian national kabaddi player was purchased for a record price of 1.65 cr in the last edition. Narwal is known for leading Patna Pirates to a record three PKL titles. Bengaluru Bulls’ Pawan Kumar Sehrawat will be another player to watch out for. Delhi Dabang KC are the defending champions, having staged a remarkable upset to win their maiden PKL title in the last edition by defeating Patna Pirates in a close encounter.

 

 

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