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The week that was, in charts: RBI action, green index, Mithali Raj

The Reserve Bank of India is finally stepping on the gas in its fight against inflation.pradeep gaurPremium
The Reserve Bank of India is finally stepping on the gas in its fight against inflation.pradeep gaur

The central bank raised its inflation forecast for the ongoing year, even as global bodies continued to downgrade the country’s GDP predictions. Meanwhile, Indian cricketer Mithali Raj has decided to quit the game after an illustrious career. Here's a look at this week in data.

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. The central bank raised its inflation forecast for the ongoing year, even as global bodies continued to downgrade the country’s GDP predictions. Meanwhile, Indian cricketer Mithali Raj has decided to quit the game after an illustrious career.

Price pains

The Reserve Bank of India is finally stepping on the gas in its fight against inflation. In its meeting this week, the monetary policy panel raised the repo rate by 50 basis points to 4.9%. The panel also said it sees inflation much higher this fiscal year than projected earlier. It raised the estimate from 5.7% to 6.7%, which would be above RBI’s upper tolerance limit of 6%. The estimates for each quarter were upwardly revised, indicating that the central bank has woken up to the inflation challenge.

CPI inflation forecast by RBI
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CPI inflation forecast by RBI

Damage control

The week began with the Bharatiya Janata Party acting against two of its spokespersons for Islamophobic remarks. The root cause was backlash in the Arab world, with Indian envoys having to face the heat. A Mint analysis showed why the response was swift: Gulf countries are among India’s biggest trading partners and also send half of our inward remittances. The region also has a large expatriate population. Angering these countries will be costly.

Total trade with India
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Total trade with India

Not green enough

180/180: That’s India’s rank on the 2022 Environment Performance Index (EPI) put out by researchers at Yale and Columbia University. The 180 countries have been ranked on 40 performance indicators including climate change, environmental public health, and biodiversity. The Indian government has questioned the methodology and rejected the report. Denmark has topped the index as the world’s most sustainable country. The US is ranked 43rd.

Billionaire’s lament

As stocks across the world have fallen over the past few months, billionaires are losing their net worth. The top 500 billionaires lost 13% of their combined net worth between January and May, a Mint analysis showed. However, the 18 Indians on the list lost just 2.6%, kept afloat by the two richest Indians, who gained even as most others lost in line with their global peers. Gautam Adani and Mukesh Ambani saw their net worth rise by 25% and 4%, respectively, during the five months.

Drop in combined net worth of top billionaires
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Drop in combined net worth of top billionaires

Growth pangs

Rampant inflation and geopolitical tensions have prompted most global agencies to downgrade India’s economic growth forecast for this fiscal year. The World Bank and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development were the latest to join the club. The World Bank cut its forecast from 8% to 7.5%, and OECD from 8.1% to 6.9%. According to the World Bank, global growth could slow from 5.7% in 2021 to 2.9% in 2022. In January, the forecast was for 4.1% growth.

recent changes in India's FY23 GDP forecast
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recent changes in India's FY23 GDP forecast

Losing steam

2.65 million: That’s the number of new demat accounts that were opened in May, sharply lower than the 3.63 million opened in November, Mint reported. The market correction and volatility in the last few months have cooled down the excitement. Besides, many of the large IPOs that had pumped up curiosity, such as LIC and Paytm, are now over. The phenomenon may remain weak in the near term, analysts said.

New surge

Reported infections of covid-19 are again on the rise, with 7.240 new cases detected on Wednesday, the health ministry said. This is the highest since 2 March. Five of the last seven days have seen more than 4,000 new cases. The jump has been over 40% each in the last two days. Maharashtra and Kerala are reporting the most cases, and authorities are asking citizens to stay on the guard again. With the surge, the country crossed 32,000 active cases as of Thursday.

New Covid-19 cases reported daily
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New Covid-19 cases reported daily

Leaving a mark

Mithali Raj, one of India’s greatest cricketers, has announced retirement from all forms of the game. During her 23-year career, she scored more runs in one-dayers than anyone ever has in women’s cricket.

Most runs in career, women's ODIs
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Most runs in career, women's ODIs

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