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Revised monsoon forecast casts a shadow

The South-West monsoon rainfall not only brings relief to people from the summer heat, but is eagerly awaited by farmers. Their crop output depends on it, in a country where irrigation infrastructure is still pitiful, well into the 21st century. For them, the revised monsoon forecast is a dampener. The weather bureau ( has revised its South-West monsoon forecast.

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Ouch! November’08 excise collections down 15%

Indian companies are struggling with a decline in demand which is affecting production, a fact visible in the December’08 quarter. If October’08 saw a marginal decline in industrial production after more than a decade of continuous growth, November’08 threatens to be worse. Investors should brace themselves for nasty surprises when the quarterly results are announced.

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Rail freight traffic in November up by just 1.3%

More evidence of the slowdown, not that anyone needs it. The Indian Railways play a key role in the transportation of certain petroleum products, cement and clinker, coal, iron ore and agricultural products. In FY08, volume traffic growth was high at 9% but FY09 has seen growth decelerate. In November’08, volume traffic is up by just 1.3% to 66.6mn tonnes and up by 6.5% to 534.6mn tonnes in the April-November period. Continue Reading →

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The inflation-IIP double whammy

The week has begun on a somber note. The political developments in Delhi, with the Left exiting the UPA and the Samajwadi party making an entry, will mean some changes ahead, some of them could affect business. Then, on Friday, inflation inched ever so closer to 12%. This was not as much a surprise but a confirmation that high levels of inflation won’t go away in a hurry. Indeed, if RBI’s level of 5.5% is taken as a benchmark, we have a long way to go before we can relax.

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