economy

Data wrap: Fed noises, Covid threat, NFT buzz

Data wrap: Fed noises, Covid threat, NFT buzz

Chasing Chips For at least the third time, India is attempting to attract chipmakers with a new policy initiative worth ₹76,000 crore to incentivize companies to set up semiconductor manufacturing and design facilities. India was unable to build a semiconductor market due to infrastructure issues. Tata Group is reportedly seeking to establish two plants in Tamil Nadu. Omicron Threat The Omicron variant of coronavirus is spreading fast, and has put state governments on guard. Countries in Europe and North America are reporting a massive surge in infections, and the variant could soon become the dominant one. India’s numbers are still benign (236 cases across 16 states going by health ministry data on Thursday), but much caution is needed in the year-end week. New Buzzword The cryptocurrency boom has propelled the non-fungible token (NFT) market to record highs this year. NFTs achieved tremendous traction in the Indian market this year thanks to endorsements by celebrities such as Amitabh Bachchan. Data compiled from Google Trends show that search interest in the keyword ‘NFT’ rose to all-time highs earlier this month. Taper Trajectory The US Federal Reserve said it would wind back its $120-billion asset purchase programme to begin raising interest rates in 2022, citing better economic conditions. As interest rates rise in the US, its financial market becomes more appealing as an investment destination, causing net outflows from India. Indian capital markets may consequently experience a dip in the near future. Low Volume Thats the revenue generated by India’s music industry, roughly stagnant for three years, according to a report by the Indian Music Industry. The pandemic forced movie theatres to first close and later operate at reduced capacity for months. This has hit the music industry, too, as film-based music accounts for 70% of all recorded music. Risky Returns Many Indian investors did well in 2021, taking large risks and earning high returns most of the time. While low-risk investments, such as fixed deposits, yielded negative return, stock and cryptocurrency values skyrocketed. The quick rise in the number of demat accounts represented the increase in risk-taking among Indian investors as did investment in cryptocurrencies. Retail Slowing Thats the month-on-month drop in sales of fast-moving consumer goods in India, in November, said retail intelligence platform Bizom. The decline was the biggest in Maharashtra (33%). This could be attributed to shopkeepers visiting hometowns for the holiday season. The Omicron threat could also lead to a shift in consumption patterns again, Bizom said. Chart of the Week: Monday dip STOCKS TANKED on Monday as increasing cases of Omicron infections spooked investors. Download.

economy 2021-12-24 Livemint