Saturday, January 29, 2011
Food inflation in India inched up marginally in the middle of January after falling for the past two weeks but inflation in the Fuel group declined, data from the Government showed. Food inflation had spiked to nearly a two-year peak in late December after rising for five consecutive weeks. The annual rate of inflation in the sensitive Food Articles space increased to 15.57% in the week ended January 15 from 15.52% in the preceding week, data released by the Union Commerce & Industry Ministry showed today. Inflation in the Food Articles space was at 20.07% in the year-ago period. Inflation in the Primary Articles group rose to 17.26% in the week under review from 17.03% in the week ended January 8. Inflation in the Primary Articles space was at 20.07% in the comparable period last year.
All those Indians who dreamt of owning the Apple iPad can rejoice, as the US company has finally decided to market the most sought-after gadget in the world in India starting today. Gizmo lovers in India can visit the nearest Apple retailer (or iStore) and pick up the tablet device that has taken the technology world by a strom. What's more, the Apple iPad is available in India at an unbelievable starting price of Rs. 27,990. The standard version of the iPad (16 GB, wi-fi only) has been selling at Rs. 33,000 in the grey market and on online stores. In less than a year of its launch, Apple has sold nearly 15 million iPad units. The iPad launch was announced in the US exactly a year ago (January 27, 2010), and went on sale in April 2011.
After some relief last week, the Indian market resumed its slide, with the NSE Nifty falling under the crucial 200-DMA level. Another rate hike, which was in line with forecast, seemed to rattle the markets. Investor sentiment took a fresh knock as FIIs continued to sell amid persistent worries that high inflation and consequent hardening of interest rates could slow the Indian economy. The governance deficit, coupled with a spate of controversies and worsening of the external balance have also been flagged by many as among the key headwinds.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) increased the key policy rates by 25 basis points (bps) each, as the central bank stepped up its efforts to tackle a stubbornly high inflation at the cost of some moderation in economic growth. The repurchase rate (repo rate) was hiked by 25 bps to 6.50%, while the reverse repo rate was also increased by 25 bps to 5.50%. The central bank also extended the 1% leeway in the SLR up to April 8. CRR was left unchanged at 6%. The inflation target for FY11 was increased to 7% from 5.5% earlier while the GDP forecast for the current fiscal year was kept steady at 8.5% with an upward bias.