India’s Economy Soars: Growth Surpasses Estimates, Consumption Booms


New Delhi, December 29, 2023: India’s economic engine is roaring! The Finance Ministry’s half-yearly review revealed robust performance, surpassing growth projections and painting a bright picture for the future. Here are the key highlights:

Growth Beyond Expectations:

  • Real GDP surged 7.7% in the first half of FY24, exceeding the government’s estimate of 6.5%.
  • Strong domestic demand, fueled by a 4.5% rise in private consumption expenditure, propelled this impressive growth.
  • India emerged as the fastest-growing major economy in H1, attracting positive attention from both domestic and international agencies.

Inflation on the Decline:

  • Core inflation is steadily decreasing, while fuel inflation remains negative, leading to an overall downward trend in headline inflation.
  • RBI projects inflation to average 5.4% in FY24, offering stability and investor confidence.
  • Food inflation remains elevated, particularly in some vegetables, pulses, spices, and fruits, requiring focused attention.

Job Market Flourishes:

  • Urban unemployment rate dropped from 7.2% to 6.6% in Q2, reflecting improving employment opportunities.
  • Net payroll additions under EPFO saw a significant 18.9% year-on-year increase in H1, indicating widespread job creation.
  • Lower exit rate from EPFO further underscores increased job security and employee satisfaction.

Revenue Collection Strong:

  • Net tax revenue jumped 11.2% to ₹13 lakh crore between April and October 2023.
  • Robust growth in corporate (17.4%) and personal income taxes (over 30%) reveals strong economic activity.
  • Consistent high GST collections throughout FY24 reflect the bustling economic atmosphere.

Trade Deficit Reduced:

  • Despite an 8.8% contraction in merchandise exports, the net service trade increased by 15.5%.
  • Overall trade deficit nearly halved to $39.9 billion in H1 compared to the previous year’s $75.3 billion.

Looking Ahead:

India’s economic prospects remain optimistic, with strong domestic demand, declining inflation, and a thriving job market fueling growth. With the government addressing issues like food inflation and trade balance, the future appears bright for the Indian economy.

Elgar Captures Centurion Hearts with Stunning 185, Earns Standing Ovation Despite Falling Short of Double Ton

Centurion, South Africa: The Super Sport Park in Centurion witnessed a moment of pure sporting appreciation on Thursday, December 28th, as South African skipper Dean Elgar received a standing ovation after falling just 15 runs short of a double century in the first innings of the Boxing Day Test against India.

Elgar, who had already reached a magnificent hundred on Wednesday, continued his masterful display of batting on Thursday before being dismissed for an impressive 185. He received a hero’s farewell from the crowd, with fans rising to their feet in a collective show of respect despite his near miss of the much-anticipated double ton.

A Fitting Farewell for a Retiring Hero:

This emotional tribute was particularly poignant, given Elgar’s recent announcement of retirement from international cricket after the conclusion of the second Test in Cape Town. The left-handed opener delivered a truly special knock, lasting until the fifth ball of the 95th over before finally succumbing to Shardul Thakur’s bowling.

Elgar’s Innings Fuels South Africa’s Dominance:

Elgar’s epic 185, laced with 28 boundaries and a strike rate of 65, formed the backbone of South Africa’s imposing first innings total of 400. His crucial partnership with Marco Jansen proved instrumental in establishing the Proteas’ firm grip on the match.

At the time of writing, South Africa holds a commanding lead of 158 runs, further bolstering their position of strength. A victory in this Test would put a definitive end to India’s hopes of conquering South Africa on their home soil, a feat they have never achieved before.

A Match Filled with Significance:

Elgar’s farewell innings and the intense battle between the two cricketing giants have made this Test match a truly captivating spectacle. Elgar’s emotional send-off from the Centurion crowd adds another layer of human interest to this crucial encounter.

As the match unfolds, all eyes will be on whether South Africa can capitalize on their first-innings advantage and secure a vital victory, while India desperately seeks to keep their series hopes alive.