Business as usual!
I have always been rather poor at arithmetic and therefore generally computation of any variety. Sadly unlike Prime Minister Narendra Modi and not hailing from Gujarat, money does not flow into my blood. I can only trace my lineage to the lazy shores of Sangam in Prayagraj and therefore if I don’t understand business and economics, for no fault of mine.
But realizing that in Modi’s era if I have to have some idea of the current political scenario I better look at what the business and corporate sector, which brought Modi to power is upto, I’ve started looking at business pages too, though let me frankly admit that I fail to comprehend much of it. But even with my limited understanding of economics I sat up today to take notice of three news items on the Business pages of the Indian Express today which appeared rather queer and contradictory. Maybe the great business and economy whiz kid Bhalla who sings paens for Modi on the Express Oped page every week, (what are his initials?) or Lord Meghnad Desai who probably have a good understanding of these subjects, could educate me.
The banner headline in the Indian Express of September 2, 2014 on its main business page announced: ‘Markets hit historic high on first quarter growth: sensex closes at 26,867.55; Nifty crosses 8000 marking a net growth of 73.35 per cent or 0.92 per cent.
This item read: “Sentiments turned bullish as foreign capital inflows picked up after economic growth improved to two and a half years high of 5.7 per cent in the April-June quarter.” Significantly this is the figure enunciated by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley a day earlier in the pre scheduled press conference on 100 days of Modi led NDA government. Very encouraging!
But then alongside this bold news item is a small item clearly played down stating, “Core Sector growth slows down to 2.7 per cent in July. It had grown to 7.3 per cent in the previous months—the highest since January 2014. According to the data released by the ministry of Commerce and Industry, the growth of eight core sector industries remained flat during April-June period at 4 % compared to the corresponding period in 2013-14.”
On the turn page of the same paper there is another news items which makes one sit up and take notice. It says, “Factory activity slows down in August on declining order. The HSBC India Manufacutring Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) a measure of factory production, eased to 52.4 in August from 53 in July. The slow down looked to be domestically driven.
And I thought Jaitely told us his government is specially focusing on manufacturing sector? And Jailtey is a whiz kid a top legal eagle of the country with a Commerce honours degree from the most prestigious college in the country the Sri Ram College of Commerce.
But money runs into the blood of Modi and he knows how to handle markets, never mind if the core sector has slowed down and manufacturing activity has also shown a downward trend.