What is it? Fall in Chinese stock markets on the first trading day of the new year.
Why is it important? Investor concerns about weak demand and oversupply in China led to its indexes tumbling 7% and subsequently, halted. After the first 15-minute trading halt (when China’s CSI 300 Index fell 5%) was lifted, it took just seven minutes for trading to be completely suspended for the day. The Chinese crash had a ripple effect on global stock markets including India’s indices (BSE’s 30-share Sensex and National Stock Exchange’s 5-share Nifty), which fell by over 2%.
Tell me more: A Chinese slowdown could have a downward impact on commodities, whose prices have been falling in the last two years or so. This has raised fears of a global economic meltdown.
What is it? Number of deaths between October 28 and December 31 last year in flood-related incidents in Tamil Nadu, according to the Tamil Nadu government.
Why is it important? This number is much higher than earlier estimate of 347 deaths in three districts – Chennai, Kanchipuram and Tiruvallur – from floods caused by record rainfall. Breakdown of state machinery and rampant encroachment on traditional water bodies that stored excess rain water were cited as reasons for high death toll.
Tell me more: The northeast monsoon has also damaged crops in over 3.83 lakh hectares, about 8.1% of the net area sown (as recorded for 2013-14) in Tamil Nadu. Net area sown is the total area of land used to grow crops in a year and if the same area is used more than once to grow crops, it is still counted only once during the entire year.
What is it? Nikkei’s Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) in December 2015, a composite indicator of India’s manufacturing activity (based on a survey). It has contracted for the first time in over two years (28 months). In November 2015, this was 50.3.
Why is it important? Revival in manufacturing is a key part of ‘Make in India’ strategy to achieve high growth rate and employment. Continued weakness in manufacturing, which accounts for 16% of GDP, will delay revival.
Tell me more: If the PMI is above 50, it indicates growth and if it is below 50, it indicates contraction. The PMI recorded in December was below the 50 threshold, the first time since October 2013.
What is it? Increase in Delhi Metro’s ridership on Monday compared to a week ago.
Why is it important? Reflects Delhi Metro Rail Corporation’s (DMRC) ability to handle additional commuters on the first working day in the ongoing car-rationing experiment. However, pollution levels saw an increase in eight monitoring stations due to weather conditions including calm winds and high moisture content.
Tell me more: During the implementation of the scheme (January 1-15), DMRC will use 198 trains to make a total number of trips of 3,192to carry 32 lakh passengers per day.
What is it? Decrease in liquor sales in India between April and November 2015.
Why is it important? This is the first fall in 15 years. And, could be due to less new brand launches, high taxes, and slow economic growth. But it’s good news from the public health perspective as increased alcoholism is taking a toll, especially on poor and rural households. According to a World Health Organization report, about 30% of India’s population consumed alcohol in 2010 and over 11% indulged in heavy drinking.