The government has bitten the bullet and approved the third vaccine, Sputnik V which will for now be imported by Dr Reddy’s Laboratories to be used in the country. There are no further details on whether it will be part of the government’s vaccination programme or whether pricing will be freed up, and what quantities are being ordered and so on. It’s time the government gets it right and does not repeat The great vaccination bungle.
While one awaits these critical details, that we have a third vaccine is some much needed good news. Industrial output data for February shows signs of fatigue, with the index of industrial production declining by 3.6percent over a year ago. In fact, our analysis of the data, presented in IIP data show a weak recovery, could dull inflation risk suggests that even a low base effect was not enough to boost growth, suggesting that the healthy recovery in earlier months was likely owing to pent-up demand.
If there’s a silver lining, it’s that consumer inflation data may has risen year on year at an accelerated pace of 5.5percent but that’s not a worrying sign. Sequentially, food inflation is down and the increase in overall inflation is marginal. Do read to know more about what to expect on the inflation front, why IIP data gives a different picture compared to PMI data (hint: it’s K-shaped) and the outlook for a recovery in industrial production.
Another addition to the data releases is our weekly economic tracker. Surprisingly, the only indicator that’s taken a beating is unemployment which rose and this is mainly attributable to the situation in urban areas. It appears that the growing number of locations subject to restrictions due to COVID-19 is hampering employment. However, consumers seem to have their chins up, with sentiment improving and vehicle registrations improved too. For more, and to know which monthly indicators are feeling the strain, do read: Economic Recovery Tracker | Surprising calm in weekly indicators, monthly ones turn a bit weak.
The stock markets had worn a cheerier look in early trading today, after yesterday’s bloodbath when the Sensex fell by 3.4percent. But it has been unable to hold on to those gains and at 1.19pm it was up by a marginal 0.2percent. But the main reason for the decline has been all the tech stocks are down after TCS’s results that seem to have infused a dose of pessimism into valuations. Do read our research team’s analysis of TCS’s results to know what to make of its results and what investors should do:
TCS: Why a fully discovered stock will continue to attract investor attention.
What else are we reading today?
Solara Active: Aurore deal to act as a booster for CRAMS; accumulate
Mutual fund SIPs: All about the unknown aspects of your monthly investments
Government should bite the bullet in the Cairn tax dispute
Tata Chemicals' transformation faces hiccups in soda ash business
Demystifying G-SAP with Modern Money Theory
Microsoft/Nuance: The $20-bn voice recognition deal is software giant’s latest random acquisition (republished from the FT)
Technical picks: Infosys, Apollo Tyres, Bajaj Electricals and HDFC Life (These are published every trading day before markets open and can be read on the app)