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Home / News / India /  Decoding the data behind GDP, capex and telecom tariffs

Every Friday, Plain Facts publishes a compilation of data-based insights—complete with easy-to-read visual charts—to help you delve deeper into the stories from the week just gone by. The GDP for July-September was the big number we tracked this week. The just-ended month was the most polluted November for Delhi in the last few years. A peek into jobs data released this week shows women have still not recovered as much as men have. Here’s more:

 

Story #1

Riding on investments

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India’s GDP grew 8.4% in the September-ended quarter, data released on Tuesday showed. The growth surpassed most forecasts, including the Reserve Bank of India’s projection of 7.9%. The main factor was a rapid revival in investments. The gross fixed capital formation (GFCF), a proxy for investments, reached 102% of the same quarter two years ago. Worryingly, private consumption and government final consumption remained much below the pre-pandemic level.

 

Story #2

Tariff games 20-25%

That’s the range of tariff hikes announced by major telecom companies in the last few days, after years of providing ultra-cheap services. Reliance Jio, which influenced the race to zero since its entry in 2016, joined the list of telcos raising tariffs on Sunday. The company hiked its prepaid plan tariffs by 21%, enough to match the prices being offered by rivals Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea. The tariff hikes, while a burden on consumers, is expected to help telecom companies strengthen their balance sheets. Indian telecom firms have provided among the lowest tariffs globally in the last few years, and that’s haunting them.

 

Story #3

Jobs jinx

 

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India’s urban unemployment rate fell to 9.4% in the March quarter, data released this week showed. This was a massive improvement since the jobs crisis during the first nationwide lockdown. However, the recovery was not the same for men and women. While unemployment for urban men has come down to the pre-pandemic level of 8.7%, the same for women still remained higher at 11.8%, compared to 10.5% a year ago.

 

Story #4

Trailing targets

 

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The year started with both the Centre and states announcing big capital expenditure plans to help the economy emerge out of a pandemic rapidly. However, halfway through the fiscal, most states have spent a third or less of what they estimated in the budget. The Centre, too, is trailing, having spent only 46% of the budgeted capex in the first seven months. However, backloading of the capex in the coming months cannot be ruled out.

 

Story #5

Smoggy year

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A late withdrawal of the monsoon this year meant relatively cleaner air for the national capital in October. However, the situation deteriorated quickly in November. Stubble burning during the month led to the air quality dropping to the worst in seven years in Delhi. The city witnessed “severe" air quality on 11 days and there was not a single "good" air quality day.

 

Story #6

Omicron scare

 

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The new variant of coronavirus, Omicron, is again leading to travel restrictions. India, which saw a devastating second wave this year, is taking precautionary measures as well, with the government rolling back its plans to resume scheduled international flights from 15 December barely five days after making the announcement. Several states are also putting in place strict protocols at airports. These measures may interrupt the revival in airline passenger traffic.

 

Story #7

$18 billion

That’s how much Nissan Motor Co plans to invest over the next five years to power up its lineup and boost long-term growth through battery-powered cars. The company said it will introduce 23 new models by fiscal 2030, which will include 15 new electric vehicles, Bloomberg reported. Nissan was the one of the first to mass-produce electric vehicles, with the launch of the five-seater hatchback Leaf in 2010. The company now aims to get half of its fleet electrified by the end of the decade.

 

Chart of the Week: At the Helm

 

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Indian-origin Parag Agrawal has taken over as Twitter’s chief executive officer, joining a growing list of such executives running top US companies. Satya Nadella is running Microsoft, the second most valued company in the US. Sundar Pichai runs the third-most valued company, Alphabet.

 

Follow us on #MintCharts on Twitter and subscribe to Mint’s Top of the Morning newsletter for our Chart of the Day

 

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