Inflation rises unexpectedly
Inflation unexpectedly accelerated to a six-month high last month as the rupee’s slide stoked import costs, adding pressure on central bank Governor Raghuram Rajan to sustain efforts to support the currency. The wholesale-price index rose 6.1 percent from a year earlier, compared with July’s 5.79 percent climb, the Commerce Ministry said yesterday. The median estimate of 25 analysts in a Bloomberg News survey was for a 5.7 percent gain. A separate gauge of inflation based on consumer prices rose 9.52 percent last month from a year earlier, the fastest in a basket of 17 Asia-Pacific economies tracked by Bloomberg.
Deficit will worsen: agency
The government’s economic forecasting agency is warning that the country’s deficit will worsen next year after further austerity measures are pushed through. The agency published its analysis of next year’s budget a day ahead of schedule, after it was leaked. The numbers show the deficit worsening to 3.3 percent of annual GDP next year from 3.2 percent. The government forecast in June a deficit of 3 percent of GDP for next year. The agency yesterday said the economy will grow 0.5 percent next year, after shrinking 1.25 percent this year. Unemployment is expected to rise to 7.5 percent.
Firm subsidizes iPhones
China Telecom Corp (中國電信), the nation’s third-largest wireless carrier, announced subsidies on Apple Inc’s iPhone 5C and 5S that analysts estimate are about 15 percent less than offered for the earlier model. China Telecom requires a downpayment of 4,488 yuan (US$734) for any plan with a 16-gigabyte iPhone 5C, and 5,288 yuan for the 5S, the carrier said. The handset is free for buyers on a two-year contract with a minimum monthly plan of 329 yuan for the 5C or 389 yuan for the 5S as the price is refunded against monthly usage, it said. A monthly plan costing 289 yuan for the iPhone 5S carries a subsidy of 2,890 yuan, 15 percent less than the 3,400 yuan for the iPhone 5 on the same plan, according to Sun Hung Kai Financial Ltd.
Radio to broadcast lectures
The University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, the world’s oldest collegiate business school, will be featured on a new Sirius XM Radio Inc channel, letting listeners get business lessons directly from professors. Sirius will train Wharton faculty, such as finance professor Jeremy Siegel and sports-business expert Kenneth Shropshire, to host shows on the channel, the satellite broadcaster said yesterday in a statement. Many of the live programs, which will cover everything from equity markets to retailing, will include call-in segments from listeners.
New export plan mulled
The government is studying a plan to export about US$600 million of goods to Venezuela in exchange for bonds of state oil company Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA). President Juan Manuel Santos told a conference of exporters on Friday that he discussed the idea with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, who on Thursday last week said that products should begin arriving from Colombia this week. Venezuela is expected to use government and PDVSA bonds to supply a new currency distribution system being designed to supplement the Cadivi currency system that sells bolivars at the official rate of 6.3 per US dollar.