IIP dips in July. Retail inflation rises in August. Indian economy growth 'much weaker than expected'. Zomato to screen original content on its app. WeWork to list shares on NASDAQ. Apple Announces new iPhones and other products. US budget deficit crosses $1tr for the first time since 2012.
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Down and Down: As per a government data released, industrial production growth slowed to 4.3% in July vs 1.2% in June and 4.6% in May this year and 6.5% last year, weighed down by a slump in manufacturing. Manufacturing sector grew at 4.2% in July 2019 compared to 7% a year ago.
What Else: Retail inflation rate rose to 3.21% on back of higher food prices.
No End in Sight: India’s economic growth is “much weaker than expected”, opined IMF spokesperson Gerry Rice.
The dip in growth can be qualified to “corporate and environmental regulatory uncertainty and lingering weakness in some non-bank financial companies (NBFCs)”, he noted.
Give and Take: India's exports dropped 6.05% to $26.13bn in August, primarily on back of significant dip in shipments from key sectors such as petroleum, engineering, leather, and gems & jewellery.
Also This: Imports too declined 13.45% to $39.58bn, narrowing trade deficit to $13.45bn vs $17.92bn last year.
Bad Omen: Rating agency CARE Ratings yesterday downgraded Altico Capital, a non-banking finance company that focuses on lending to the real-estate sector after it defaulted on interest payments worth INR19.9cr due to Mashreq Bank of Dubai. The company also added that this may lead to further defaults down the line.
“Care has revised credit rating for proposed long-term bank facilities from CARE AA-; Outlook: stable to CARE B; Outlook: negative," Altico said in a filing.
Can Keep No Calm: The default brings to limelight the rising stress in India’s retail sector which has been facing severe cash crunch following the NBFC crisis.
According to its latest filing, Altico Capital has INR43.62bn of loans outstanding from banks and financial institutions as of Sept. 12.
Zomato Pulls Off a Netflix?: Food-delivery platform Zomato has announced its foray into web streaming with 18 original shows over the next three months, beginning 16 September.
The videos will be available under the new ‘Videos’ tab on the app and will be three to 15 minutes long. They will be under different categories such as shows, recipes and Sneak Peek restaurant stories.
The Chosen One: Shared workspace provider WeWork’s parent has chosen to list its shares on Nasdaq.
In addition to this, it plans to introduce sweeping changes in its governance amidst tepid interest from investors.
An Apple a Day...: It’s September – or, as tech nerds call it, iPhone time. Apple hosted its annual event today to announce the new iPhone lineup. The company unveiled three new iPhone models – iPhone 11, iPhone11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max. These will replace iPhone XR, XS and XS Max respectively.
Also announced were new models of Apple Watch and the iPad in addition to announcements of the launch date of Apple TV and Apple Arcade. More details here.
Stream Team: As iPhone sales have been plummeting, Apple has long sought to diversify its products, and a cornerstone of this diversification has been its upcoming streaming service. And it’s being aggressive on pricing – TV+ video streaming services and Arcade videogame-streaming service begins at $4.99/month. And if you purchase a new iPhone, iPad or Mac, TV+ comes free for a year. Undercutting rivals’ prices will be important for Apple as it prepares to enter the streaming market this November.
FYI: The new iPhone 11 will be sold in India at a starting price of INR64,900. The iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max, meanwhile, will start at INR99,900 and INR1,09,900 respectively.
Who Wants to Be A Trillionaire?: The US budget deficit has crossed the $1tr mark for the first time since 2012, according to the Treasury Department. Increased government spending on several sectors including Social Security and defence led to the deficit to climb by $169bn in the first 11 months of the current budget year. A surplus in September is probable according to experts, meaning the total deficit for the entire budget year could end up below the $1tr mark.
The last time the US budget deficit was this high was between 2009 and 2012, when federal spending surged in order to address the 2008-09 financial crisis.
I Have Bought You For a Hundred Years: The longest-dated US Treasury bonds are 30-year ones. Now, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has said 50-year bonds would be issued if there is “proper demand” and, if they’re successful, even 100-year bonds could be considered.
Lost in Stimulation: The European Central Bank has announced a new stimulus package, hoping that it will boost the faltering Eurozone economy. The plan includes an interest rate cut and proposals to pump €20bn a month into financial markets.
Data Is The New Oil: China’s economy isn’t tanking. But slipping demand and trade duress have hurt GDP numbers, which in Q2 was reportedly 6.2%. But these numbers have long been questioned by economists, policymakers and investors for their authenticity. Many have argued data released by the Communist Party is tampered and unreliable. This has led analysts to find other ways of securing genuine data – from analysing energy consumption to taking photos from space.
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