Economy Round Up – April 28 to May 02, 2014

The seventh phase of the Indian elections began on a peaceful note. After the seventh phase, polling ended for 438 of the total 543 Lok Sabha seats

May 05, 2014 5:21 IST | India Infoline News Service

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Lok Sabha Elections: Polls done for 438 out of 543 seats

The seventh phase of the Indian elections began on a peaceful note. After the seventh phase, polling ended for 438 of the total 543 Lok Sabha seats. Some prominent candidates for poll included Sonia Gandhi, Madhusudan Mistry, Captain Amarinder Singh and Sriprakash Jaiswal of Congress and Narendra Modi, LK Advani, Rajnath Singh, Arun Jaitley, Murli Manohar Joshi and Uma Bharti of BJP.  Other prominent candidates include Sharad Yadav of JDU and Farooq Abdullah of National Conference. West Bengal records highest voter turnout for 9 seats with 81.35%, while Voter turnout in Dadra and Nagar Haveli is 85% and 76%. Punjab records voters turnout at 73%, while Gujarat records 62% voter tunrout for all 26 Lok Sabha seats. In Andhra Pradesh was 70%, Voter turnout were 70%. Vadodara topped the charts with 68.06% polling. While Uttar Pradesh sees 57.10% polling for 14 seats while Jammu and Kashmir recorded 25.62%.

HSBC manufacturing PMI unchanged in April

According to HSBC's PMI survey, the momentum in the manufacturing sector held broadly steady in April, with a slowdown in export orders countered by firmer domestic demand. However, a build-up in finished goods inventories could weigh on output growth in coming months in the absence of a pickup in total demand.  Encouragingly, inflation pressures eased, but that does not mean that the RBI can take down its inflation guards. HSBC's India manufacturing PMI (51.3 vs. 51.3 in March) held steady. However, output growth (51.7 vs. 52.2 in March) slowed and new orders (52.5 vs. 52.7 in March) moderated slightly, with firmer domestic demand countering a slowdown in new export orders (53.0 vs. 56.8 in March).  Despite the broadly steady output and order growth, the quantity of purchases (53.0 vs. 51.7 in March), stocks of purchases (52.4 vs. 49.9 in March) and stocks of finished goods (52.7 vs. 51.4 in March) rose at a faster pace. This could weigh on output growth in the coming months if demand does not pick up pace...Read More

When and where will Modi meet Obama?

If the poll projections for India’s parliamentary elections being held in April-May are true, then there is fair chance that come May, Narendra Modi, a leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), could be the Prime Minister of India. If this is indeed the case, then the US government has its task cut out – when and where shall President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Narendra Modi meet for the first time? How will such a meeting be choreographed?

In normal times this question may have been moot – but these are certainly not normal times in U.S. – India relations. A host of contentious issues have cropped up between the two nations ever since India passed the nuclear civil liability bill in 2010. The nuclear deal in itself also remains a sore point with U.S. business, and the U.S. administration. If anything more could have been done to roil the relations further, it was provided in generous measure by the Devyani episode. So the next Indian government, will take pause and do some clear thinking before it starts to engage with the U.S. administration. The new Indian government will also have to contend with the foreign service establishment in Delhi which may have its own views on how this relationship should be taken forward...Read More

‘SMAC - the next growth driver for SMEs in India’

India’s Small & Medium Enterprises (SME) sector has been one of the primary drivers of the country’s economy. SMEs account for 45% of India’s total manufacturing output and employ around 40% of its workforce. The sector’s contribution to India’s GDP is expected to increase to 22% in 2020 from 17% in 2011. The last few years have seen SME’s recognizing technology as a key business driver, but its adoption is still low, as compared to other countries with large SME setups. The subject of Social, Mobile, Analytics, and Cloud (SMAC) has been dominating debates across the world over the last 12–24 months. In India, the time is ripe for SMAC to finally move from being a hot trend to a business reality. SMEs will play a leading role in the adoption of SMAC in India, given the huge opportunity it opens up, not only to grow revenues by increased marketing to new customers, but also by bringing in operational efficiency and customer experience...Read More

50% Indians expect stronger economy in 6 months: Ipsos

Fifty percent Indians are optimistic about Indian Economy and expect that the economy will be stronger in next six months, a rise of 2 points, according to a report by global research firm Ipsos. According to the "Ipsos Economic Pulse of the World" study, India's economic confidence level has declined to 58% in March 2014, a decline of 3 points. However, India continues to hold 6th position as the most economically confident country in the world after Saudi Arabia, Sweden, Germany, China and Canada. Only 35% Indians believe that the local economy which impacts their personal finance is good, a drop of 2 points.  "Inflation in India increased on account of higher food costs in March, breaking a three-month easing trend, this would give RBI little scope to support the economy amid fresh signs of slowdown," said Mick Gordon, CEO, Ipsos in India. "However Indians are hopeful that the new central government which will come to power with fresh mandate in May will bring in stability, push economic growth and build investor confidence," added Gordon. The online Ipsos Economic Pulse of the World survey was conducted in March 2014 among 18,675 people in 25 countries. Holding steady for a second month in a row, the average global economic assessment of national economies surveyed in 24 countries remains unchanged this month as 38% of global citizens rate their national economies to be ‘good."...Read More

India Inc expectations 20 yr high from new govt: ASSOCHAM

The level of expectations from the new government set to take office next month has risen to an all-time high, never seen in the last two decades from India Inc which is setting different sets of agenda for the new Prime Minister – from revival of economic growth to fixing inflation and bringing down interest rates and unemployment within few months of taking over, an ASSOCHAM CEO survey has indicated. "The expectation level is soaring by the day among different segments of the economy- stock markets, industry, trade, multilateral institutions and foreign investors. Heads of the diplomatic missions are also pinning their excessive hopes on the next government as they would like to reinforce their economic ties with India. "However, there are risks of highly built up expectations. Any deviations in the election results, contrary to expectations can be very harmful because that can lead to a knee-jerk reaction," the ASSOCHAM survey report cautioned. The Associated Chamber of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) surveyed nearly 450 CEOs engaged in different sectors such as manufacturing, finance, real estates, banking and IT in the month of March. The survey was conducted in Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Ahemdabad, Cochin, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Chandigarh, Dehradun covering all the large, medium and small enterprises...Read More

Govt stability would spur economic growth in India: S&P Guest Opinion

The best chance for significant economic improvement in India would come with the election of a stable government that the public views as having a mandate to attack India's economic problems. That's according to a guest opinion report by Crisil Ltd. that Standard & Poor's Ratings Services published today, titled "India Economic Outlook: Government Stability Would Spur Growth."

"The direction of India's economy in 2014 could well hinge on the outcome of the national election, which concludes on May 12. An election that results in protracted, quarrelsome, and difficult coalition-building to form a new government is likely to be seen as weak, ineffective, and unable to bring about the changes necessary for growth," said Crisil Ltd. economist Dharmakirti Joshi. The report says that if either leading party has to scramble to build a governing coalition several sectors of the economy could be hurt more than others. The real estate, capital goods, construction, power, cement, and steel sectors could suffer amid the weak investment outlook, policy stasis, and stretched balance sheets that would ensue. Consumption-linked sectors, including automobiles, low-priced consumer goods, and hotels, might also feel the heat.

News Infocus

Women CEOs are more likely to be forced out than men: Study

The numbers are moving in the right direction: In eight out of the last 10 years, the share of women becoming CEOs of the world’s biggest public companies has been higher than the share of women leaving that office. And, over the past five years, the total share of women becoming CEOs was considerably higher than in the prior five-year period (3.6% versus 2.1%). But despite the upward trend, the numbers are low and wobbly: women made up just 3% of new big-company CEOs in 2013, a 1.3 percentage point drop from 2012. That’s according to Strategy &'s (formerly Booz & Company) 14th annual Chief Executive Study?, which examines CEO turnover and incoming and outgoing CEOs at the world’s 2,500 largest public companies. The current study looks at women CEOs over the past 10 years as well as overall succession trends with a focus on 2013’s incoming class of CEOs. The study authors do expect a bit more progress over the next quarter of a century. "As much as a third of the incoming class of CEOs will be women by 2040, based on a 10-year trend in our data, ever higher education of women, continuing entry of women into the business workforce and changing social norms around the world," said study co-author Ken Favaro, Strategy & senior partner...Read More

Number of Internet users: India ranks third with 205 million in 2013

The number of Internet users in India has reached 205 million in 2013 with a 40% YOY growth. Which ranks India at the 3rd position, marginally behind US with 207 Million usersand China which currently has 300 million internet users. Online shopping has become popular in India with a large number of shopping portalsand 137 million urban & 68 million rural users. With increase in mobile internet users it witnessed that more than 50% of urban internet users’ accessing the internet daily & the demography includes youth, working men, older men & non-working women. Urban centers like Mumbai, Bangalore, Delhi, Chennai & other metros have a huge internet user base. Recently India also breached the 100 million users’ benchmark of facebook making it the country which is aggressively taking to social media to connect. On the back of these amazing achievements of the country in this new age medium of connectivity which made the world flat, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) organised the first edition of its conference called DIGITIZE for businesses to explore new avenues in the changing times...Read More

What will Indian Data Centers of 2025 look like?

How do you use internet for education?

Home buyers are reeling under pressure with increase in land prices

Home buyers in the last few years are reeling under pressure with increase in land prices, construction cost, interest, and time to get approvals etc. Home buyers have a long wish list to reduce home costs by way of policy changes from state and central government.

Let us look at those below:-

Provisions in proposed regulator for the industry:

Real estate is the second largest industry which gives employment to unskilled people next only to agriculture. It is one of the industries which touches and every citizen in India. However unlike similar industries which have wide reach to people, real estate is the least regulated industry. In the proposed Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Bill, 2013 provision should be there to standardize quality of construction, sales terms (super built up area, built up area, carpet area etc), pricing etc. There should be provision to punish erroneous builders who fail to deliver on time, increase rates without notice, constructing buildings without approvals etc. Since real estate approvals are within state government jurisdiction, a central regulator with decentralized supervision from state bodies will ensure implementation of policies.

Mobile engagement at airports in India; Mumbai tops the list

Big data company AdNear’s latest behavioural insights show interesting user trends across six key airports in India; Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Bangalore, Kolkata and Hyderabad airports. This study was conducted using AdNear’s unique audience location technology. Data compiled from 650,000 India-based mobile users over three months showed that mobile users in Mumbai are more active on their devices compared to their counterparts. Compared to the average time spent on mobile of 1.61 hours per user across requests, Mumbai travellers were 14 per cent more engaged, followed by Kolkata travellers at eight per cent. Bangalore travellers came up least engaged at 18 per cent less than the average. Professionals were found to spend the most time on their phones at airports with an average of 2.2 hours, followed by Homemakers at an average of two hours. AdNear’s findings also revealed that Thursday was not only the most preferred day of travel for Homemakers & Students, but also saw the highest mobile engagement across all audience segments. Evening flights were most popular for travellers across all six airports, with 27.8 per cent of travellers tracked in airports between 7pm to midnight, while 26 per cent of travellers were present between 3pm to 7pm. Early morning flights were least popular, with only 8.7 per cent of travellers present during that time period...Read More

IPL’s charm diminishes; fans continue to bolster their support online

Amid the election fever nationwide, the most talked about cricketing event of the year, Indian Premier League (IPL) kicked off in UAE; far away from the national turf. Like every year, although glitter, glamour and presence of Bollywood superstars ruled the opening ceremony; it struggled to match up the interest in the previous year suggests Google Search trends. Google search trends analysis related to Indian Premier League (IPL) during the initial launch week of the cricketing extravaganza put forward some interesting highlights:

Comparing the search interest for IPL-6 with the latest edition of Indian Premier League, Google search trends reflect the loss of interest among the digital audience. Going by the search patterns, IPL -7 doesn’t seems to have taken of well compared to IPL 6 which saw search graphs ticking the peak in initial days of the start of the event. Did elections impact the interest or rising controversies bolted the loss, this still needs to be ascertained?

In this cricket crazy nation, regional interest for Indian Premier League (IPL) also witnessed significant movement with West Bengal taking the top spot as the state searching the most for Indian Premier League. Karnataka from where the most no. of searches emerged during the last season was found trailing on the fifth spot...Read More

Worshipping Gods in the times of Elections

Arun Shourie, who was part of NDA, a fellow traveler and an ideologue of BJP wrote several books, many of them against minorities and dalits in particular. One of these which was strongly protested against by large sections of people, dalits in particular, was his "Worshipping False Gods". In this book he expressed the mind set of RSS-BJP politics towards Ambedkar. In this long bulky volume he was heavily critical of Ambedkar’s ideology, his agitations for democratic values and his struggles for social justice. Now a decade and half later on one side many a dalit leaders, Ramvilas Paswan, Udit Raj, Ramdas Athwaley are vying to sit in the lap of the politics of BJP for apparently their own personal gains on one side and on the other the BJP’s Prime Ministerial Candidate Narendra Modi is going miles to woo the sections of dalits. It is another matter that while doing this in his usual trade mark style he has no qualms about misrepresenting the events, speaking lies and putting the blame of all that has not taken place to his political adversaries...Read More

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