Latest News Today: RBI Survey Warns of Slowdown, Anand Mahindra Pitches for GST Cut, 24x7 NEFT Soon

RBI’s consumer confidence survey paints a grim picture. Anand Mahindra pushes for cut in GST or removal of cess to boost auto sector. NEFT to be available 24×7 from December. UPI transactions jump but Paytm sees decline. Paytm’s PayPay reaches 10 million customers in Japan. Samsung announces two versions of its flagship Galaxy Note 10 smartphone. Trump’s trade war is likely to drive up costs for American consumers. China set the Yuan at its lowest point in 11 years.

 

Moving on to the top Business news today:

 

 RBI SURVEY 

RBI’s consumer confidence survey paints a grim picture.

 

Bleak House: As per RBI’s consumer confidence survey that collected responses on households’ perceptions about and expectations from the general state of the economy (including parameters like the general jobs scenario, the overall price situation and consumers' own income/spending), consumer confidence is rapidly deteriorating on the back of worries over jobs and other aspects of the economy.

 

The current situation index dived to 95.7 in July, a steep fall from 97.3 a month earlier and an even steeper fall from 104.6 in March.

 

A Grim Future: The survey also sought response from 1,231 companies. The business sentiment indices show that while Indian manufacturing companies are satisfied with the current environment, they are cautious of the times to come.

 

Many were pessimistic about the availability of funding, especially with the ongoing liquidity crisis in the NBFC sector.

 

Moreover, companies are worried that they won’t be able to sell their wares like they used to and therefore inventories would pile up leading to cuts in production - something that's already visible in the auto industry.

 

 AUTO 

Anand Mahindra pushes for cut in GST or removal of cess to boost auto sector. 


 
In Dire Need: Chairman of Mahindra & Mahindra Group Anand Mahindra is pushing for a cut in GST or removal of cess in order to "catalyse consumption" and spur growth in the ailing auto sector.

 

He also mentioned that the industry needed support for both wholesale and retail financing.

 

What You Need to Know: The move comes at a crucial time when the automobile sector is witnessing a slump in demand and subsequently an increase in the number of layoffs. As per the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) report, India's passenger vehicles sales slumped 17.54% to 2.25 lakh units in June from 2.7 lakh units in the year-ago period.

 

Did You Know?: The auto sector constitutes 7.1% of the GDP and 49% of the manufacturing GDP in the country and it supports over 37 million jobs.

 

 PAYMENTS 

NEFT to be available 24×7 from December. UPI transactions jump but Paytm sees decline.

 

Vision Digital India: As part of its Payment Settlement Vision 2019 to 2021, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has announced that its National Electronic Fund Transfer (NEFT) will be available 24×7 from December onwards.

 

Currently, the facility between different bank accounts is only available between 8 am and 7 pm on working days except second and fourth Saturdays.

 

The development can be seen in conjunction with the Central Bank’s move to waive RBI fees on both NEFT and Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) transactions in its Monetary Policy Committee meeting in June.

 

Sweet and Sour: As per this ET report, UPI transaction soared in the month of July. However, Paytm, which had clocked around 200 million transactions in May, reported less than 140 million transactions on UPI.

 

Meanwhile, Deepak Abbot, Senior Vice President at Paytm, noted that the payments platform had achieved over 600 million transactions in July, including payments through Paytm Wallet, Paytm UPI, cards and net banking.

 

He added that the company had observed that consumers preferred using Paytm Wallet for offline payments to UPI.

 

 TECH 

Paytm’s PayPay reaches 10 million customers in Japan. Samsung announces two versions of its flagship Galaxy Note 10 smartphone.

 

A Big Hit: Paytm’s joint venture in Japan with SoftBank and Yahoo Japan called PayPay now has over 10 million users.

 

Additionally, it is supported by one million merchant partners and local stores.

 

Paytm entered Japan last October following the formation of the joint venture.

 

Drumrolls: Samsung has announced two versions of its flagship Galaxy Note 10 smartphone - the regular Note 10 and the jumbo Note 10 Plus.

 

Here’s a sneak peek into the newly unveiled devices.

 

 CHINA 

Trump’s trade war is likely to drive up costs for American consumers. China set the Yuan at its lowest point in 11 years.

 

Newton’s Third Law of Globalisation: After a short impasse, the US-China trade war resumed raging after Trump imposed an additional 10% tariff on $300bn worth of Chinese goods, which would subject nearly all Chinese imports to the US.

 

Trump’s trade war has hurt China’s growth but it is also hurting the US. The rising tirade of country-specific tariffs targeting all sectors and industries is likely to drive up prices and penalise American consumers.

 

Trump might eventually learn the hard way that bilateral trade wars are unwinnable in an interconnected world, notes this Project Syndicate article.

 

Yuan Step From the Edge: On Thursday, China’s central bank set the official reference rate for the Yuan at 7.0039 per dollar. This is the currency’s weakest point since April 2008.

 

Tell Me What You Yuan, What You Really, Really Yuan: The Yuan has had a rough week. Two days ago it breached the psychologically sensitive level of 7-to-a-dollar after Beijing let it slide. It has fluctuated about that level since then whilst sending the global currency market (including the Indian rupee) into dire straits. China’s intention behind letting its currency slide is to make its exports more competitive - something that has constantly irked Trump, who branded the country a “currency manipulator” this week.

 

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