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BW Businessworld

Worry Lies Ahead

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When the world's biggest lender says the global economy is in a "danger zone", it needs to be taken seriously. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) forecasts a spell of doom across the globe this year courtesy the ever-worsening European crisis and slowing growth in China and India. IMF's Christine Lagarde says the lender has cut its global growth estimate from 3.8 per cent last year to 3.3 per cent this year. She feels the impending crisis could resemble the 1930s Great Depression. In September, the IMF had said the global economy would grow four per cent in 2012. "The near-term outlook has noticeably deteriorated," notes an update of the IMF's World Economic Outlook report. The lender has asked India to be cautious with its monetary policies, and has cut its economic growth projection for the country to 7.4 per cent in 2011 from 7.8 per cent and 7 per cent for CY 2012. Austerity, here we come.

Sourcing Trouble
It is election time, and he is at it again. In his state of the union address, US President Barack Obama asked US firms to stop outsourcing, a move that can impact India's outsourcing industry. Outsourcing deals worth $200-billion are due for renewal in the next five years. Bad timing.

IN PLENTY: Smartphone shipment touches a million a month

Smart Move
Smartphone shipments crossed 10 million units in the first 11 months of last year, shows data by CyberMedia Research. November was the third consecutive month when smartphone shipments hit one million and also saw the launch of 23 models.

India Beckons
Spanish sportswear and fashion brand Kelme, in partnership with Global Overseas, has forayed into Indian territory with plans  to open 7- 10 stores this year. Kelme is owned by New Millennium Sports and is currently present in 45 countries worldwide.

Arresting Volatility
If you cannot change it, just ignore it. The government will issue inflation data of primary articles on a monthly basis instead of the current  weekly release. The cabinet committee on economic affairs approved the proposal last week, and the change will be notified shortly. 

Employment Woes
India will sail through the economic crisis, says the International Labour Organisation in its 2012 report titled ‘Preventing A Deepening Jobs Crisis'. But creating more productive jobs will remain a challenge.

Highway To Connectivity
In a bid to give a major boost to the country's infrastructure, the ministry of road, transport and highways plans to increase the total private investment in highway construction to 
Rs 3,23,000 crore in the 12th Plan.

Common Platform
Google plans to link user data across its email, video, social media services to create a "beautifully simple and intuitive" user experience from 1 March. Critics, however, raise privacy concerns, similar to what killed Google Buzz some time ago.

WITHDRAWAL: Leaving Indian shores due to high charges

Runaway Carrier
Soon after AirAsia and Air AsiaX withdrew their flights from India, Thai AirAsia also announced it would follow suit. The airline  is going to withdraw  its flights between New Delhi and Bangkok owing to high operating costs —  airport and fuel charges.

Building On Growth
For the second month in a row, India's nearly 300-million tonne cement industry posted 14 per cent growth (year-on-year) in despatches. It sold 19.78 mt in December against 17.35 mt the year before.

Nokia Fall
Nokia has posted $1.4 billion loss despite healthy Windows Phone sales in the fourth quarter.

(This story was published in Businessworld Issue Dated 06-02-2012)