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India should restrain itself from being ‘too ambitious’ about economic growth: Raghuram Rajan

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Given great uncertainty about outlook and policies of others in these times, a country like India should try to take sensible measures without getting too ambitious, says Rajan.

RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan has said India should restrain itself from being “too ambitious” at a time when the world is full of uncertainties and instead focus on sensible policies to ensure a sustainable economic growth.

“Given great uncertainty about outlook and policies of others in these times, a country like India should try to take sensible measures without getting too ambitious, as we have done so far,” Rajan said, delivering the Mahtab Memorial Lecture in Bhubaneswar late on Saturday evening.

“This will serve as a sound basis for strong and sustainable Indian growth as the world economy picks up,” Rajan, whose remarks comparing the Indian economy with a one-eyed king in a blind world led to a controversy, added.

The Indian government has been working hard to fasten the GDP growth and aspiring to take it to the double-digit mark from the current 7.5% in the medium term.

It has, however, adhered to key targets like the fiscal deficit number and also made inflation-targeting a key objective for the central bank.

Rajan said the world is growing “extremely slowly”, with the factors differing from one country to other and termed notions of a de-coupling of growth between industrial countries and emerging markets as “illusory”.

“Easy and unconventional monetary policy in industrial countries could increasingly be a part of the problem,” the academic-turned-central banker said and reiterated this creates problems around capital flows for emerging markets.

He called central banks around the world to “start thinking more internationally” and stressed on the need to “start discussing new rules of the monetary policy game in the international setting.”

As such a goal will take years, an emerging country like India should focus on macro-stabilisation, building buffers and reducing vulnerabilities, Rajan said.

“Good policy is the first line of defence including our focus on controlling fiscal deficits, reforms like the Bankruptcy Code and Aadhaar, and our steady fight against inflation,” he added.

The country has also taken other additional measures like control inflows, intervening in the foreign exchange market as a macro prudential measure to reduce volatility, and maintaining sufficient foreign exchange reserves to be able to withstand a sudden stop in capital inflows, Rajan said.

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Manufacturing GVA growth in Q2 ‘surprising’: SBI Report

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Manufacturing

New Delhi, Nov 28 : The manufacturing sector played a major role in narrowing down the India’s GDP contraction in Q2 of FY21. An SBI Ecowrap report, however, dubbed the growth in manufacturing GVA as “astonishing” as the IIP manufacturing for the same period declined by 6.7 per cent.

India’s GDP in the July-September period contracted 7.5 per cent, compared with 23.9 per cent in the preceding quarter.

The GVA in Q2 2020-21 from the manufacturing sector grew 0.6 per cent, as compared with a degrowth of 0.6 per cent in the corresponding quarter of the previous fiscal.

The report by Soumya Kanti Ghosh, Group Chief Economic Adviser, State Bank of India, said: “Though the whole press release is full of surprising numbers, the most astonishing number is the positive growth in manufacturing in Q2.”

He noted that despite being the worst affected sector in Q1 (due to lockdown), it is quite puzzling how manufacturing turned itself around.

The IIP manufacturing and manufacturing GVA growth are highly correlated (almost more than 0.90) and this correlation collapsed in Q2 when IIP manufacturing declined by 6.7 per cent (average of July/August/September) while manufacturing GVA grew by 0.6 per cent.

He said that one possible reason for this could be stellar corporate GVA numbers in Q2 on the back of massive purge in costs.

Further, he said that small companies, with turnover of up to Rs 500 crore, are more aggressive in cutting cost, displaying reduction in employee cost by 10-12 per cent.

“This could turn a potential headwind in future in terms of a drag on consumption. Additionally, there is evidence of inventory build-up that could act as a drag on future manufacturing growth,” said the report.

“Interestingly, government consumption expenditure has also nosedived in Q2, that is difficult to explain, as such expenditures are typically pro cyclical.”

During the July-September period, agriculture sector continued to perform well with its growth pegged at 3.4 per cent. Services remained in the negative territory, although the decline was contained as trade, hotels, transport, communication and services related to broadcasting showed recovery.

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Apple patents new MacBook Touch Bar with Force Touch technology

It was also made available on iPhones and it was known as 3D Touch. Later with iPhone XR, Apple decided to replace 3D Touch with Haptic Touch for a better experience.

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San Francisco: Apple is reportedly planning to add Force Touch sensors to the OLED Touch Bar on a future MacBook Pro.

A new patent published by the US Patent And Trademark Office, suggests Force Touch could have an expanded role in the future on the Mac, with the development of a new pressure-sensitive Touch Bar, reports MacRumors.

The patent offers visual examples of how force-sensing technology would be implemented in a MacBook Touch Bar, with Force Touch circuitry surrounding the touch-sensitive OLED strip.

“The secondary display and force-sensing circuitry may be encapsulated between two glass layers that are bonded to one another by a frit. In some embodiments, the force-sensing circuitry is formed from or constitutes part of, the frit,” reads the abstract of the patent application

Force Touch sensors were introduced for the first time with the first-generation Apple Watch and they allow the screen to identify the touch pressure in order to perform different actions based on touch intensity.

This technology was then introduced to the MacBook trackpad in 2015.

It was also made available on iPhones and it was known as 3D Touch. Later with iPhone XR, Apple decided to replace 3D Touch with Haptic Touch for a better experience.

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Business

Black Friday in-store shopping drops amid pandemic

Black Friday, one of the most anticipated days by consumers, shifted its consumption patterns due to the COVID-19 pandemic this year. More shoppers have opted for online sales, and in-store shoppers tend to buy things much faster than before.

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Retail Store Sales Down

New York: Christina, a 74-year-old woman, only spent about five minutes buying a toaster oven at Macy’s flagship store in New York city on Black Friday morning.

“It was quick, it was a short line. It is not very busy now,” the shopper, who did not give her surname, told Xinhua.

There were a few dozen in-store shoppers at Macy’s flagship store, Saks Fifth Avenue and other retailers’ stores in New York City on Black Friday, a sharp contrast to the crowded scenes in the same time any other year.

Black Friday, one of the most anticipated days by consumers, shifted its consumption patterns due to the COVID-19 pandemic this year. More shoppers have opted for online sales, and in-store shoppers tend to buy things much faster than before.

“This year is scary. You want to get out of the store quicker to protect yourself even though we have masks. We have to prevent socializing and gathering with large crowds. We have to keep a distance,” the 74-year old shopper said.

In the meantime, U.S. consumers’ online spending made a new record high of $5.1 billion on Thanksgiving Day with a year-on-year growth of 21.5 per cent, according to the data issued by Adobe Analytics.

As of Thursday afternoon, coronavirus deaths have added up to 24,241 and confirmed cases to 302,522 in New York City, according to The City, a project that tracks the spread of confirmed COVID-19 infections and fatalities in New York City.

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