As you can see, much of what we read has been scary enough to reach for the stop button in the equity markets. But let’s pause for a moment and try to sift through the noise. Yes, it is true that commodity prices have corrected and in some cases, the correction has been fairly steep. The Bloomberg Commodity Spot Index, which tracks 23 energy, metal and crop futures contracts has lost more than 20% since touching a multi-year high in Jun-22. However, let’s not loose sight of the fact that this correction has come after an unprecedented rally since early 2021. The table below will bring this out clearly.
India’s GDP growth slowed for the fourth consecutive quarter to stand at 4.1% in Q4 FY22, reflecting a combination of reducing favourable base effects and full-blown effect of the Russia-Ukraine crisis. The lower growth was led by subdued industrial sector growth (1.3%) and slowdown in services sector growth (8.1% to 5.5% QoQ). Growth plunged in manufacturing (-0.2%) and construction (2%), mining sector saw growth slowdown (8.8% to 6.7% QoQ) driven by rising raw material prices. The agriculture segment (4.1%) as well as electricity, gas, water supply and other utility services segment (4.5%) witnessed stable growth trends. On a full-year basis, FY22 GDP grew 8.7% YoY after FY21 had de-grown 6.6% YoY. GDP is now above pre-COVID levels (1.5% over FY20 levels).
The RBI on 4th May ’22, surprised the market by raising the policy repo rate by 40bps to 4.4% and the CRR by 50bps to 4.5%. The market was surprised, as the hike occurred at an unscheduled meeting of its monetary policy committee (MPC) 4 weeks after its last meeting, and 5 weeks prior to its next scheduled one. However, if we go by the recent turn of events, we would realize that the rate cut was not a surprise, but an inevitable one to tame rising inflation.
The banking industry is the backbone of any economy. When the pandemic struck, there was concern and uncertainty among the stress formation and health of the banking industry. The demonetization, GST & RERA implementation, corporate asset quality woes, Asset Quality Review (AQR), had weakened the banking industry and many thought the pandemic could be the final nail in the coffin for an already struggling sector. Will loan growth hold up, will the asset quality worsen, will the capital be sufficient, will banks be able to raise fresh capital, will the borrowers survive the pandemic, how long will the pandemic last, were the burning issues surrounding the banking sector. Two years on, we have still not heard the last word on the pandemic. However, the banking sector appears to have come out of this crisis stronger than ever.
Since the past two years, a sequence of unprecedented events transpired and disrupted the global economic balance considerably. The chaos caused by the pandemic in 2020 was followed by the Fed’s decision to raise interest rates to fight inflation. While the world was coming to grips with these twin blows and as it was emerging from the latest wave of Omicron, the Russia-Ukraine crisis began and aggravated the macro backdrop, and caused a commotion in global equity.
Q3FY22 earnings saw companies largely delivering on the earnings front, despite the inflationary pressures from rising commodity and energy prices. Banks and NBFCs reported stellar results on the back of an improvement in asset quality trends led by controlled slippages, healthy recovery, and upgrades as well as a pickup in loan growth. IT remained steady, with strong topline growth and a robust deal pipeline driving strong sales growth. Within healthcare, price erosion continued to affect the US Generics business.
Indias growth currently is the highest among all major economies; we are now in a strong position to withstand challenges. The goal should now be to complement macro-growth with micro-all-inclusive welfare backed by digital economy and tech-enabled development. With this in mind, the FM laid down the focus areas of budget 2022: PM Gati Shakti, Inclusive Development, Productivity Enhancement, Sunrise Opportunities, Energy Transition, Climate Action, Financing of Investments.
2021 was quite an eventful year for the world. From achieving the distant goal of Covid vaccination to second Covid wave to creating history in the Olympics, India’s journey in 2021 was a story of ups and downs. As a whole, it was a year when people finally started returning to their normal lives. Let's take a quick recap of events that made headlines in the country in 2021.
Amid the rising concern over the surge in cases related to the new variant in some countries, World Health Organization (WHO) classified Omicron as a ‘variant of concern’ on 26th Nov’21. However, Omicron is not the first variant to be classified as a concern. Let’s look at the classification of covid variants and their meaning.
Q2FY22 earnings season has almost come to an end and overall results were above expectations within the NSE 200 universe with 86 beats vs 48 misses. Several metrics contributed to better than expected growth. The companies benefitted from the strong revenue growth in the technology sector, higher commodity prices & volume growth in the energy, metal sectors, and also the opening up of the economy. Margins of domestic consumption sectors were impacted due to rise in input cost. Within financials, steady recovery in loan growth and improved asset quality of most private lenders was the hallmark of the quarter.
Early business updates for Q2FY22 by some large and mid-corporates suggest continuing economic recovery. High frequency macro indicators for Jul-Sep’21 quarter such as manufacturing PMI, services PMI, personal loan growth, GST collections, electricity production, sequential uptick in air freight and passenger traffic, quantum leap in digital transactions and core sector growth all pointed towards the expanding demand in the economy. Current account surplus for Q1 FY22 confirmed robust growth in IT services growth. On contrary, weakness in demand is detected from macro indicators such as auto sales and industry credit, which will show up in corporate results. Oil price spike beyond US$80/barrel is a key macro risk in terms of its impact on trade deficit and inflation.
‘India reports highest ever quarterly GDP growth’, read the headlines in some newspapers. The headlines sound very exciting and worth grabbing eyeballs. Overall GDP growth in Q1 FY22 was impressive at 20% YoY led by Construction and Manufacturing sectors which grew in excess of 50% YoY. There was no sector which reported a negative YoY growth in this quarter. But is the picture really so rosy? Has India’s economy broken the shackles and on a tear away growth path? Let’s deep dive and find out!
The recently concluded, Tokyo Olympics has been exceptional in so many ways. Held in the midst of uncertainties and fear brought on by the pandemic, the Tokyo Olympics after getting postponed by a year was definitely one of the most challenging Olympics to date. However, despite these setbacks, it was by far the best in terms of performance and medals tally for India, with seven medals – one gold, two silver, four bronze and enabled India stand 48th in medals tally, its best ever position.
Do you remember going to a restaurant not knowing what the menu is like or how the reviews are? Or hunting for menus of a restaurant, placing an order, tendering exact change and waiting impatiently, unaware of the time till delivery? Clearly, seems like a thing of the past. The new age FoodTech platforms have made us accustomed to a great deal of convenience which is here to stay.
India’s Q4FY21 GDP growth at 1.6% YoY was positive for the 2nd consecutive quarter. However, FY21 GDP de-grew by 7.3%. Government consumption led from the front in order to pull up the overall GDP. Robust improvement in government expenditure can be attributed to increase in capex spending by both central & state governments. Private consumption showed a small positive growth in Q4FY21 for the first time during the year (55% of GDP). With most of services being subdued throughout the year, private consumption was expectedly poor and the biggest contributor to the FY21 GDP de-growth. While the year gone by has been tough and the start of this year is unassuming, all is not lost.
The above quote by American author Hal Borland exudes a lot of optimism. The quote states that despite the current gloomy situation, we can still have hope and faith that good will come to us. We think given the situation that the whole world is in, it is important that we try to remain positive and hopeful (apart from remaining safe and indoors). For the COVID ravaged world, after death and gloom we have hope and vaccine. The world has once again started looking ahead with a renewed confidence that we will be able to breathe easy (quite literally!) soon.