What is it? Consumer price inflation in March 2016.
Why is it important? At a six month-low, it decreased from 5.26% in February 2016 and 5.25% from a year-ago period (March 2015). This, along with an above normal rainfall prediction, is likely to prompt the central bank to cut key interest rates further (it cut policy rates by 25 basis points earlier this month).
Tell me more: The fall in retail inflation was aided by smaller increases in food prices, which slowed down to 5.21% in March from 5.3% the previous month. The difference between the retail inflation rates in urban (3.95% in March 2016) and rural areas (5.7%) is pretty stark.
What is it? The estimated global economic growth in 2016, as per the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Why is it important? This is a downward revision from its January prediction of 3.4%, indicating a worsening scenario. The IMF cited Britain’s likely exit from the European Union, political discord, China’s economic slowdown, impact of low oil prices and recession in some countries as the reasons for the gloomy picture. This is likely to affect India in terms of foreign investment and exports.
Tell me more: The global economy is expected to grow at 3.5% in 2017, a 0.1% reduction from IMF’s January estimate. India retained its GDP estimates for 2016-17 and also, the tag of ‘bright spot’. IMF says other countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam continue to do well.
What is it? The number of riders and drivers whose information were shared by ride-sharing company Uber Technologies with US law enforcement agencies and regulators.
Why is it important? This is Uber’s first transparency report. Though such information-sharing helps law enforcement agencies in speeding up cases and potentially preventing harm to someone, it also has the risks of misuse, as Uber admits that it doesn’t always know the purpose for which regulators require the information and that they may share it with third parties.
Tell me more: Uber hopes to disclose requests received from outside of the US in the future. The queries included information about trips, trip requests, pickup and dropoff areas, fares, vehicles and drivers. Other technology companies such as Google, Facebook and Twitter publish their transparency reports periodically.
What is it? The cost of depression and anxiety disorders to global economy every year, according to a World Health Organization (WHO) study.
Why is it important? The financial returns are over four times the investment made in treating depression and anxiety disorders. It provides an economic reason for countries to spend more on mental health.
Tell me more: Governments, on an average, spend 3% of their health budgets on mental health, with low-income countries spending less than 1% to high-income ones spending 5%.
What is it? The number of children the terror group Boko Haram has used in suicide attacks in Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad and Niger in 2015.
Why is it important? The number has increased from 4 in 2014 and over the last two years, one out of every five suicide bombers was a child. Three-fourths of these children were girls. Terror groups such as ISIS and Pakistani Taliban have increasingly started using children for carrying out their activities, as they are easy to train, can be expected to be more loyal and not suspect their motives.
Tell me more: Cameroon recorded the highest number of suicide attacks involving children, accounting for nearly half of such attacks. Violence by Boko Haram has caused nearly 1.3 million children to be displaced in the four countries, 1,800 schools closed down and over 5,000 children separated from their parents.