Category Archives: Economy


Samsung claims first spot in front of Apple and Lenovo

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South Korean company Samsung announced that it has tripled its smartphone sales in the year 2012. With the recent figures, the company has left behind others such as Lenovo and Apple, which are also considered to be important companies in the Chinese market.

Reports suggest that Samsung sold about 30.6 million phone units in the Chinese market in 2012, which is about three times the 10.9 million units which was sold in 2011. The figure gives Samsung control of 17.7 percent of the Chinese market and puts it solidly ahead of its competitors.

In terms of Samsung’s competition, Lenovo came in the second place with 13.2 percent of the market and Apple finished in the third place with 11 percent. The other Chinese manufacturers Huawei and Coolpad maintained their 9.9 and 9.7 percent market share respectively and Nokia dropped down  from 29.9 percent and currently rests in the seventh spot.

News reports said that this is the first time Samsung has claimed the top spot in the Chinese market.  Industry observers said that the new position that Samsung has reached is due to the efforts of Chinese carriers and the company’s growing brand. China has quickly come up as one of the most competitive electronic markets in the world.


Spending increases for Americans – Income goes down

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Consumers in the US have spent a lot in the month of January  2013 on utilities. The income for US consumers has taken a deep plunge,  which is said to be the biggest in 20 years. According to the commerce department,  spending by US-based consumers has increased by 0.2 percent in January, after a revised 0.1 percent increase in December 2012.

The amount spent on buying goods was earlier estimated to have increased by 0.2 percent in the month of December 2012, though the increase in January was expected to take place by consumers,  as well as the economists. These figures account for 70 percent of the US economy and when it is adjusted for inflation, it accounts for a 0.1 percent.

Despite the rise in spending in the month of January, the figures that were registered were supported by a rise in services, which was probably related to utility consumption, after a brief lull during the month. Even amounts spent on procuring goods had fallen, from what was expected at the end of 2012.

Income has also taken a hit, falling to 3.6 percent, which is the lowest figure registered since 1993. Households are also feeling the pinch, as they they have lesser money to spend. Usable income dropped by 4 percent in January 2013, after rising 2.7 percent in December 2012.


Diesel prices to be hiked by 40-50 paise every month

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Until now, diesel vehicle owners in India were enjoying lower fuel rates, but now cheap fuel might become a thing of the past. The prices of diesel will be hiked by 40 to 50 paise-per-liter every month,  till the losses on the fuel are completely wiped out.

Oil minister Veerappa Moily said on February 1, 2013, that until further orders are received, the oil companies have the liberty to increase the prices of diesel by 40-50 paise-per-liter month-on-month. On January 17, 2013, the government decided to move towards deregulating the prices of diesel. The government then freed the state and gave their powers over to the state-owned oil firms.

The state oil firms can now raise the prices of the fuel in small measures every month till the losses are compensated. At present, diesel is sold at a loss of Rs. 10.80 per liter. On January 17, 2013, the price of diesel was hiked by 45 paise. After including VAT, the increase in Delhi became 50 paise. Diesel in Delhi now costs Rs. 47.65 per liter.

Although the first installment of the price hike has been made known, information about the second price increase was not made clear. There was no mention as to when the second increase would be made and what the amounts in question would be.


Milk prices to fall by 5 percent in India

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Milk prices in India are expected to fall for the first time in about six years. The prices might fall by up to Rs. 1 – Rs. 2 per liter owing to the oversupply due to lucrative prices. Moreover, people in the industry say that milk powder and butter have already become cheaper by 20 percent and a revision is due in the prices of liquid milk.

Samba Shiv Rao, the president at Heritage Foods which is a Hyderabad based dairy said, “Milk prices will drop by Rs 1-2 per litre this month itself”. Rao also supplies premium milk products in other cities like Chennai, Bangalore and Mumbai. He went on to say that market forces have demanded a correction and that if they want to maintain sales and pay the farmers in time, then they do not have any option but to cut prices.

Most of the milk is supplied by the marginal farmers who need to be paid on a daily basis soon after delivery at the collection centers. This year, supplies have increased by 17% in the state of Gujarat and by 20% in the state of Andhra Pradesh.

However, an official in Ahmadabad says that the prices of the retail pouches might not fall.


Rapid Rail in NCR to cost Rs. 72,000 crores

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The Indian government has an ambitious plan to connect three major locations in the National Capital Region (NCR) to Delhi through rapid rail. However, the project will need a hefty investment of Rs. 72, 000 crores.

The proposal is likely to be submitted before the Parliament during the current session as a part of the annual report of the NCR Planning Board. The investment has been calculated as per September, 2011 prices and there is little chance of the rapid rail transit system becoming functional in the next four years.

The planning board has mentioned that these lines could be operational starting 2016. According to popular sources, the huge capital investment required and sourcing this amount would be one of the major concerns of the government. This is also one of the main reasons why the urban development ministry has not been able to circulate a Cabinet note for inter-ministerial consultation.

Bhupinder Singh Hooda,  the chief minister of Haryana has spoken about treating the RRTS as a national project and has also hinted at the need for the Centre to fund the whole project. However, sources have claimed that such a proposition is difficult and there will be a need of the states to share the burden.