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Data recap: Services trade, diabetes woes, and more

Every Friday, Plain Facts publishes a compilation of data-based insights, complete with easy-to-read charts, to help you delve deeper into the stories reported by Mint in the week gone by. India’s services trade has once again shown impressive performance, helping bring the current account deficit down,a recent report on diabetes prevalence has been ringing alarm bells.Meanwhile, bad loans have fallen to a decade low.


Services Dominate


Even as India’s merchandise trade had been facing challenges against the backdrop of the global growth slowdown, services trade had continued to lend support. According to RBI data, services surplus rose to $39.1 billion in the quarter ended March from $38.7 billion in the previous quarter and $28.3 billion in the same quarter last year. Robust services surplus along with moderation in merchandise trade deficit helped bring the current account deficit to 0.2% of the GDP during the quarter.




Decadal Low


Bad loans in the Indian banking sector have declined to a decadal low, sidelining earlier worries that the covid-19 pandemic would lead to a rise. According to the latest data from the Reserve Bank of India, gross non-performing assets at commercial banks as percentage of gross advances declined to 3.9% as of March 2023, the lowest level seen since March 2013. The central bank said the gross NPA ratio of all banks may continue to decline further to 3.6% by March 2024 under its baseline scenario.




Debt Refinancing


14,300 crore:That’s the money Shapoorji Pallonji Group has raised from a clutch of private credit investors and high net worth individuals, pledging its shares in Tata Sons Ltd as collateral to primarily refinance its debt,Mintreported. The group’s borrowing comes as it seeks to meet its financial obligations, including 4,400 crore, making a prepayment of around 3,250 crore in debt, and obtaining 3,000 crore working capital for its real estate and ports businesses.


Diabetes Worries


The prevalence of diabetes is not new in India but a recentstudyhas confirmed the worst. According to the study by Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), over 100 million Indians aged 20 and above are now estimated to be living with diabetes, while another 136 million are prediabetic. The disease is more common in southern and some northern states, with Goa and Kerala faring the worst.




Freight Slows


Yet to recover from the pandemic blow, India’s air cargo exports are facing challenges from the growth slowdown in the US and Europe and higher taxes. According to data from Airports Authority of India, international air freight in 2022-23 not only declined from the previous financial year but was also sharply lower than the pre-pandemic levels at 1.9 million metric tonnes. The industry came under the 18% slab of the goods and services tax in October 2022, making air freight costlier.




Capex Support


56,514 crore:That’s theamount of capital investment proposals the finance ministry has approved for 16 states during the current financial year under its special assistance to states scheme.The Budget had allocated 1.3 trillion as part of the scheme in the form of 50-year interest free loan to help boost capital spending by the states to support growth. Proposals have been approved in several sectors including health, education, irrigation, roads, and railways.


Market Consolidation

India’s electric two-wheeler market is currently dominated by top five companies and the government action against wrongful claim of subsidies likely has accelerated the consolidation in the industry. The top five companies accounted for 77.8% of e-two-wheeler registrations in the June quarter, up from 70.2% in the same quarter two years ago, a Mint analysis of Vahan data showed. Okinawa and Hero Electric have dropped out of the top five, while Bajaj and TVS have secured the top spots in the list.




Chart of the Week: Beauty Buzz




More and more celebrities are launching their own products in the beauty and personal care (BPC) industry as there is scope for growth, especially in the skin care and colour cosmetics segment. India’s BPC market is currently dominated by bath and hair care segments, while the global market is led by skincare.


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Updated: 30 Jun 2023, 12:32 AM IST

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