News in Numbers, Oct 4, 2016: Firing and shelling from across the border…

52.1

What is it? India’s Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) in September, a composite indicator of India’s manufacturing activity based on a survey by Markit, a financial information and services company.

Why is it important? Though it expanded for the ninth straight month due to increase in new orders and purchasing activity, the rate has slowed down from 52.6 in August (which was at a 20-month high). This was due to inflationary pressures, though this is still lower than historical standards and that the central bank may cut interest rates in 2016. The next monetary policy review is today.

Tell me more: Companies saw new export orders expand at the fastest pace in 14 months.

 

4

What is it? The number of times Pakistani troops violated ceasefire on Monday, targeting Indian Army posts and civilian areas along the Line of Control (LoC).

Why is it important? Five civilians have been injured leaving several shops ablaze. The Indian Army retaliated and said that a Pakistani post Twiven1 was destroyed. There have been 10 ceasefire violations since the surgical strikes by India on the night of September 28/early morning the next day. As many as 405 cross-border firing incidents by Pakistan have been recorded last year where 17 civilians lost their lives, leaving 71 injured.

Tell me more: On Sunday night, fidayeen (belonging to a suicide squad) militants launched an attack on a 46 Rashtriya Rifles army camp in Baramulla. Though it was foiled, two Border Security Forces troopers were injured, one of whom died later.

 

178

What is it? The number of runs by which India defeated New Zealand in the second test match on Monday at Eden Gardens, Kolkata.

Why is it important? With this, India has reclaimed the top position in the ICC Test Rankings from Pakistan. This is irrespective of how India performs at the third and final test match to be held in Indore starting October 8. India was behind Pakistan by a single pointand needed to win the series to get to number one position. This would be the fourth time that India would reclaim the top position since the current rankings system was introduced in 2003.

Tell me more: After India and Pakistan, Australia, England and South Africa round up the top five ranks. India has been ranked number one between November 2009 and August 2011, January-February 2016 and in August 2016.

 

6

What is it? The number of Japanese Nobel prize winners in medicine.

Why is it important? The latest to win the Nobel is Tokyo Institute of Technology biologist Yoshinori Ohsumi. He won the 2016 prize for his work on the mechanics behind autophagy, a basic cellular function in which cells break down parts of themselves for reuse. Ohsumi showed this process helps also helps in fighting off infections with bacteria and viruses, and in generating energy under stressful situations.

Tell me more: Ohsumi is the 23rd Nobel Laureate to be born in Japan. This is the third consecutive medicine Nobel win for Japan.

 

377

What is it? The rise in Sensex, India’s benchmark equity index, on Monday a day ahead of monetary policy announcement by the new Reserve Bank governor and monetary policy committee.

Why is it important? The 1.35% rise in Monday is seen as a reflection of market expectation that the interest rate will be cut down. Equities tend to go up when interest rates go down. It remains to be seen if Urjit Patel takes a hawkish stance against inflation like his predecessor Raghuram Rajan and keep it steady to tame inflation, or if he (and the committee members) would go with the demand of the industry and politicians and cut the rate.

Tell me more: The easing of tension between India and Pakistan could also have helped in the market move on Monday. Sensex dropped by over 450 points last Thursday on the news that India carried out surgical strikes on terrorist launch pads across the line of control.

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