Data Recap: Capex, Climate, Bnpl, Electric Vehicles

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Every week, Plain Facts publishes a compilation of data-based insights—complete with easy-to-read visual charts—to help you delve deeper into the stories reported by Mint.This week we look at a slowdown in manufacturing activity to a six-month low, a gradual shift to electric vehicles owing to rising fuel prices, and the future prospects of the ‘buy now, pay later’ market. Here’s more:

Tech Probe

The Director general of the Competition Commission of India has submitted a report on billing policies followed by Google Play Store, expressing concerns about “unfair and discriminatory conditions” in violation of Indian regulations. The report said Google’s conduct was denying market access to UPI payment apps other than Google Pay. In the last two years, both Google and Apple have reduced costs and are exploring third-party payments in anticipation of regulations across the world.

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Slow Activity

Inflationary Pressures led by geopolitical turmoil weighed on business confidence in March, leading to the growth in India’s manufacturing activity slowing down to a six-month low. The S&P Global India Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) was above the 50 mark that separates contraction from expansion, it edged down in March from 54.9 to 54 in the previous month. Economists at S&P warned that a continuing rise in inflation could lead to a significant slowdown.

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Warming Planet

2030: That’s the year by which greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions must be reduced by 43% to keep global warming at 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, said the latest report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Emissions must also peak in the next three years for that target. But climate experts have cautioned policymakers that in the absence of additional urgent action, GHG emissions are expected to climb beyond 2025.

Recovery Spirit

As the pandemic wanes, the revival in capital expenditure appears to be falling in place. Projects worth 5.1 trillion were announced in the March quarter, a 54% rise from the previous three months and more than double from a year earlier, showed data compiled by the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE). New investment in the manufacturing sector in 2021-22 increased by 89% from the previous year, after remaining flat in the year before that.

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Sustainability Boost

The rise in fuel prices is raising the total cost of ownership and adding to the woes of the automobile sector, which is already struggling with subdued demand. However, this is adding to the reasons for a shift to electric vehicles in the country, which is seen as a more sustainable option by sector experts, Mint reported. Electric two-wheeler volumes rose by over 460% year-on-year and its penetration in the Indian market crossed 4% in March, according to Vahan registrations data.

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Tax Bounty

14 trillion: That’s the direct tax collection in the fiscal year that just ended. This unprecedented level of the mop-up for FY22 exceeded the revised estimates by 1.5 trillion and nearly met the budget estimates for the current fiscal, according to data compiled by the Central Board of Direct Taxes. This gives the government greater spending options in the face of a high deficit and rising price pressures.

Easy Credit

India’s ‘buy now, pay later’ (BNPL) industry is attracting consumers and businesses because of to its zero-interest, short-term loans for any kind of purchase. About 22% of Indian consumers used BNPL in the last three months of 2021, showed a market survey by YouGov. The pace is expected to gather more momentum as BNPL users in India are projected to multiply 10-fold in the next four years, Mint reported on the basis of multiple reports by analysts.

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Chart of the Week: Subtle Boost

On social media, political parties greatly benefit from propaganda advertised by “unofficial” pages that cannot be attributed to their leaders or hired agencies. BJP officially spent the most on social media ads in recent elections and also benefited the most from unofficial pages.

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