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Home / Industry / Media /  The week that was, in charts: Netflix setback, rise of covid and inflation

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 Netflix’s slowing subscriber growth, India’s ambitious solar energy targets, a rising covid-19 surge, and the history of the weather office’s monsoon forecasts. Here’s more:

Net flux

Popular streaming service Netflix lost 200,000 paying subscribers in the March-ended quarter as a result of its decision to suspend operations in Russia due to the Ukraine war. The company lost 700,000 subscribers in Russia, and added 500,000 elsewhere. This is the first time in over a decade that Netflix has lost subscribers in a quarter. However, the company said it saw “nice growth" in India, Japan, the Philippines, Thailand and Taiwan.

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Covid alert

Covid-19 infections are again rising in Delhi. The city reported over 1,000 new cases on Wednesday for the first time since early February. The positivity rate, or the share of tests turning positive for the virus, has also been hovering around 5%. The scare of a new wave has prompted the Delhi government to make face masks mandatory again, and so have some of the adjacent districts of Uttar Pradesh.

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Growth cuts

8.2%: That’s the latest forecast by the International Monetary Fund for India’s economic growth in 2022-23, down from 9% estimated in January. The Fund, in its World Economic Outlook, attributed the downgrade to the impact of high oil prices on consumer demand and private investments. The war has also pushed down global growth estimates from 4.4% to 3.6% for 2022.

Inflation woes

The upward pressure on wholesale prices refuses to abate. Wholesale inflation accelerated to a four-month high of 14.55% in March, up from 13.11% in February, data released this week showed. This measure of inflation, which considers prices on the producer side, has been in double digits for a year. It is feared that it will spill over to the retail side as well.

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Rooftop eclipse

India has set the goal of reaching 100 GW of solar energy capacity by this year. However, the goal looks set to be missed, primarily because of the solar rooftop segment. Of the 100 GW, 40 GW was to come from this segment, but it reached only 8.9 GW, or 22% of its target, by the end of last year. The other segment, utility-scale solar plants, is doing well, having reached 70% of its target by 2021.

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Boom and bust

76.5%: That’s the approximate decline in the market capitalization of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) in the last one month. NFTs were all the rage last year, but the inflated sales and valuations, the market is starting to mature, Mint reported. An auction for an NFT of the first tweet ever fetched just $277 last week, a crash since being sold for $2.9 million by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey in March 2021.

Well predicted

The India Meteorological Department’s prediction of a normal monsoon for the fourth year in a row has cheered the agricultural sector and the broader economy. Statistical forecasts rarely achieve a 100% strike rate, but the error rates in India’s official monsoon predictions have come down over the past two decades, IMD data shows. Last year, the gap between the IMD’s first forecast and the actual rainfall was just 1.4% of the long-period average.

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Chart of the week: IPL’s churn

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Advertising in the Indian Premier League is changing. FMCG companies like Coca Cola and phone brands like Vivo and Oppo have made way for e-commerce and gaming apps like Dream11.

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