The big stories of the past week – in the charts

Every Friday, Plain Facts publishes a compilation of data-driven insights, along with easy-to-read charts, to help you dig deeper into the stories Mint has reported over the past week. India’s retail price inflation hit its highest level since April. Demand linked to the festival season seems to have revived automobile sales, which recorded impressive growth during the Navratri period.

The woes of inflation

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Retail price inflation accelerated to 7.41% in September from 7% in August, according to data released this week by the National Statistics Office. This is the highest inflation rate recorded since April, when inflation based on the consumer price index hit an almost eight-year high of 7.79%. Food price inflation led the surge, rising from 7.62% in August to 8.6% in September. The recent surge in inflation could force the Reserve Bank of India to raise its key rates in December.

Festive fervor

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Automobile sales recorded a 57% growth during the Navratri festival compared to the previous year, according to data released by the Federation of Automobile Dealers Associations. Growth was 16% from the pre-covid Navratri festival in 2019, indicating that the industry has emerged from the shadow of covid. Compared to pre-pandemic levels, growth in tractor sales was the best (90%), followed by passenger vehicles (58%) and utility vehicles (37%).

Growing pains

6.8%: this is the revised growth forecast for India for 2022-23, established by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). This marks a downward revision from the previous forecast of 7.4%, which the IMF attributed to weaker-than-expected output.

in the first quarter of FY23 and sluggish external demand. The war in Ukraine, the tightening of monetary policy, high inflation and the lingering effect of the pandemic are also likely to moderate economic growth.

Technical results

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Tata Consultancy Services, Infosys, HCL Technologies and Wipro announced their September quarter results this week. TCS, Infosys and HCL reported an 8.3%, 11% and 7.1% increase in consolidated net profit respectively, while Wipro’s fell 9%. Infosys also announced a fully paid share buyback 9,300 crore shareholders other than promoters. Wipro attributed its profit slump to inflationary pressures and the energy crisis, among other things.

speed test

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As 5G rolls out in India, US mobile network testing firm Ookla said trial download speeds in the country were as fast as 800Mbps. Download speeds hit 500Mbps on 5G test networks in the country ahead of commercial launch by Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel earlier this month. Ookla said Jio downloads were faster than Airtel with a median speed close to 600 Mbps in Delhi, while Bharti Airtel’s network had its best median speed of around 516 Mbps in Varanasi.

Fund raising

$10 billion: This is the potential fundraising that Gautam Adani and his family are discussing with global investors such as Temasek and other wealth and private equity funds, Mint reported this week. The funds will be invested in the group’s expansion plan in the fast-moving clean energy, ports and consumer goods sectors. Adani recently said his companies plan to invest more than $100 billion in capital over the next decade, 70% of which in clean energy.

Optimistic mood

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Net inflows into equity UCITS jumped to almost 14,100 crore in September from 6,120 crore in August, according to data released by the Association of Mutual Funds in India (Amfi). Growth has been driven by retail investors, who continue to view systematic investment plans as an instrument of wealth creation

and long-term accumulation despite economic uncertainties. Amfi data also showed that the number of mutual fund folios reached 138.1 million.

Chart of the week: Mobility Up

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India is celebrating its first festival season since 2020 with no discernible high risk of a covid-19 outbreak. Mobility in October is now the highest since the start of the pandemic. While the last two festival seasons had both peaked

on the move, they also faced several localized peaks of infections.

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Sallie R. Loera