News in numbers, Jan 5, 2016: Global markets tumble, Tamil Nadu floods’ death toll…

 

7%

 

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.

 

470

 

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.

 

49.1

 

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.

 

3 lakh

 

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.

 

1-2%

 

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.

Tell me more: The average rural Indian consumes 11.4 litres of alcohol in a year while the average urban person consumes 5 litres annually. Since the early 2000s, India saw an increase of 10-15% in volumes but in 2013-14 and 2014-15, the growth was in low single digits.

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News in Numbers – September 16, 2015

News In Numbers: September 16, 2015

 

37.4%

The combined wealth of India’s 198,000 high-net-worth-individual (HNWI) population as a percentage of India’s GDP (in 2014-15). The world’s second most populous nation is home to the 11th largest population of millionaires. India recorded the highest growth rates in the world for HNWI population (26.3%) and wealth (28.2%), due to falling oil prices and “constructive” election results. India and China led the growth of rich individuals and wealth in Asia Pacific, which surpassed North America’s HNWI population by a slim margin and is expected to overtake it in terms of wealth too, by the end of 2015. China’s HNWI population in 2014 stood at 890,000 whose wealth rose 19.3% to $4.5 trillion, which is more than twice of India’s GDP in 2014-15.

 

20.7%

The drop in India’s merchandise exports in August, the steepest decline in five months and contracting for the ninth consecutive month. The two main reasons for this are lower commodity prices and a weak global demand. Exports stood at $21.2 billion while imports declined 9.95% to $33.7 billion in August. India’s trade deficit marginally narrowed to $12.5 billion in August from $12.8 billion in July. The decline in exports was mainly due to a 48% year-on-year fall in shipments of petroleum products to $2.8 billion. Reviving exports is critical as it accounts for nearly a fourth of India’s GDP. S C Ralhan, president of the Federation of Indian Export Organisations has called for the intervention of the Prime Minister and the Commerce and Industry Minister to immediately consult with the export bodies and draw up a roadmap to tackle the situation where reaching last financial year’s export target was looking difficult.

 

Rs 1 lakh crore

The amount Indian Railways is planning to seek from the Finance Ministry for safety upgrade, after a spate of recent railway accidents across India including Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh, which has brought the spotlight once again on the safety aspects of the railways. Chairman of the Railway Board, A K Mital, has said the Indian railways is preparing a “comprehensive safety plan” that includes elimination of all level crossings and strengthening of tracks and bridges. Japanese railways and companies have agreed to help the Indian government in achieving its ‘zero accident mission’. In 2014, 27,581 people died in railway related accidents, of which 9.3% were railway crossing accidents.

 

7

The number of days within which private airlines would have to present their plans to reduce “excessive” fares on certain routes to the Indian government. Junior aviation minister Mahesh Sharma said the government is open to imposing price caps if the responses of the private carriers are inadequate. He also said that the last minute fares are on the higher side and that these are giving the airlines “a bad name”. However, he added that the government prefers to settle this issue without introducing any caps or other rules. The Indian aviation is struggling with $11.3 billion in debt and just two airlines- Indigo and GoAir – made a profit in 2014-15. GoEuro, a European travel website, ranked India as the most inexpensive country in terms of air travel where it costs about $10.36 per 100 km. Recently, chairman of Competition Commission of India, Ashok Chawla, said that there is no need to put a cap on airfares and that market forces would be able to fix the right fares in an unregulated environment.

 

Rs 20,000 crore

The estimated revenue that the festival of ‘Ganeshotsav’ generates across India, according to a report by industry body Assocham. ‘Ganeshotsav’ or ‘Ganesh Chathurti’ is an important Hindu festival celebrated to honour the elephant-headed God, Ganesha. Terming the festival as ‘recession-proof’, Assocham said expenditure on the festival is growing at an annual rate of 30% and the number of ‘mandals’ (elaborate, artificial structures erected with idols of Ganesha) is increasing at 5-10% per year. The report says the setting up of these ‘mandals’ attract “generous contribution by people from all walks of life” and generate employment for thousands of people. A proxy of how the big the festival: organisers of ‘mandals’ across Mumbai had taken a combined insurance cover worth Rs 450 crore last year.

 

 

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