Friday, April 12, 2013

Trade to remain subdued in 2013 as European economies continue to struggle: WTO
According to World Trade Organization (WTO), world trade growth fell to 2% in 2012— down from 5.2% in 2011— and is expected to remain sluggish in 2013 at around 3.3% as the economic slowdown in Europe continues to suppress global import demand.
Issuing a statement that threat of protectionism was greater now than at any time since the start of global economic crisis, WTO warned that as long as global economic weakness persists, protectionist pressure will build and could eventually become overwhelming. WTO figures show that world trade growth fell to 2% in 2012- down from 5.2% in 2011, and is expected to remain sluggish in 2013 at around 3.3% as the economic slowdown in Europe continues to suppress global import demand.
The abrupt deceleration of trade in 2012 was attributed to slow growth in developed economies and recurring bouts of uncertainty over the future of the euro. Flagging output and high unemployment in developed countries reduced imports and fed through to a lower pace of export growth in both developed and developing economies. The statement said that improved economic prospects for the US in 2013 should only partly offset the continued weakness in the EU, whose economy is expected to remain flat or even contract slightly this year. China ’s growth is expected to continue to outpace other leading economies, cushioning the slowdown, but exports will still be constrained by weak demand in Europe . As a result, 2013 looks to be a near repeat of 2012, with both trade and output expanding slowly, below their long-term average rates.
In 2012, the dollar value of world merchandise exports only increased by 0.2% to US$18.3 trillion, leaving it essentially unchanged. The slower growth in the dollar value of world trade compared to trade in volume terms is explained by falling prices for traded goods. Some of the biggest price declines were recorded for commodities such as coffee (–22 %), cotton (–42%), iron ore (–23%) and coal (–21%), according to IMF commodity price statistics.
The value of world commercial services exports rose just 2% in 2012 to US$4.3 trillion, with strong differences in growth rates across countries and regions. For example, the US saw its exports of commercial services climb 4% while those of Germany dropped 2% and France ’s tumbled 7%. On the import side, several European countries recorded sharp declines, including Italy (–8%), France (–10%), Portugal (–16%) and Greece (–18%).
The trade forecast for 2013 assumes 2.1% growth in world output at market exchange rates (unchanged from 2012) based on a consensus of economic forecasters. Risks to the forecast are firmly rooted on the downside and are mostly linked to the sovereign debt crisis in Europe .
Accelerated fiscal consolidation in the US could also undermine the forecast if brinksmanship over budget negotiations between the executive and legislative branches leads to miscalculation. As always, unexpected events such as geopolitical tensions and natural disasters could also intrude to disrupt trade. On a more positive note, some factors that held back trade growth in 2012 may subside in 2013, including the recent territorial dispute that soured trade relations between Japan and China .
Indicators of production, business sentiment and employment in the first quarter of 2013 paint a mixed picture of current economic conditions. Purchasing managers’ indices suggest that the euro-zone downturn may have accelerated despite continued resilience in Germany . At the same time, the US recorded a strong rise in manufacturing, Japan ’s production growth was less negative, and China and the Republic of Korea showed modest improvements.
Unemployment in the US recently fell to its lowest level since before the economic crisis at 7.6%, whereas the rate for the euro area stands at close to 12%. Together, these indicators point to weak import demand in Europe even as conditions gradually improve elsewhere. In light of the large weight of the EU in world imports (32% in 2012 including trade within the EU, 15% excluding it), this suggests slow growth for trade in the early part of 2013.
Warm regards,
Dr. S P Sharma
Chief Economist

Dr Togadia spends Hindu New Year with Hindus from Pak
New Delhi, April 11, 2013
Over 480 Hindus who were tortured & faced genocidal brutalities in Pakistan are staying in Delhi for last few months. VHP & many other Hindu organizations have been helping them with shelter, food, clothes, day to day needs, utensils, medicines etc. More importantly Hindus from Pak need security & dignity in Bharat rather than every month worrying about their visa extension. Govt of India has extended their visa but only for a month. VHP & many Hindu organizations have been making representation for Hindus from Pak to get citizenship status with every right to education, health & all such securities.
While doing all this, another significant aspect of human life gets missed out & that is their emotional trauma. Little kids have seen their elder sisters & mothers being taken away by the Isamists. Young small shop keepers have lost their hard earned little income to extortion at the gun point. Even to celebrate Hindu festivals, these Hindus had to be worried.
Today Hindu New Year. Dr Pravin Togadia spent his time with these Hindu families from Pak. He gave the little kids drawing books & colours & said, “After making basic needs like food, shelter, clothes etc available to them, it is essential that the families express themselves. At least kids can draw their feelings. Their childhood needs to be made happy in Bharat.”
Hindu New Year sweets were also given to them & Dr Togadia silently listened to the memories of the Hindus from Pak. The old were in tears remembering glorious times before partition, the middle ages with their lost precious years were hoping to get better lives for their young sons & daughters; mothers had agony in their voice when they told of the horrible abductions of their young daughters. Youth had new dreams of a better life in Hindusthan which they say is their ‘Maa’.
Dr Togadia said, “My heart is filled with all emotions – sorrow, agony, anger for what these great Hindus faced & also joy that I am here with them for Hindu New Year. They did not give up their Hindu Dharma despite such atrocities & hats off to them. While minority in Bharat behaves as if they are the first class citizens of Bharat & Hindu majority here is treated as the secondary citizens, in Pakistan Hindu minority faces genocidal brutalities! They were forced to run away to Bharat. In coming June, VHP will get the kids admitted in schools here. The women will be helped with cottage industry type of work & the youth will be given jobs in industries etc. No way these Hindus in Delhi or from any other parts of Bharat (even in Rajasthan, Gujarat some Hindu families have come in from Pakistan) will go back to Pakistan. While we demand Govt to care for them & make Pakistan (& Bangla Desh) implement Nehru-Liaquat treaty to protect minority rights, we will do everything possible to help them assimilate in Bharat with dignity & respect. We will ensure ‘Hindu Ahead.”


Five years after the eruption of the global financial crisis in 2008, recovery of the global economy remains fragile. In the third quarter of 2012, the US registered high growth and in the euro area pace of economic contraction moderated. Nevertheless, prospects for advanced economies’ growth in 2013 remain subdued. The US GDP estimates for the fourth quarter of 2012 indicate a tentative upturn on the back of improvement in housing and payroll employment. However, the country’s macroeconomic prospects are clouded by the uncertainty surrounding the temporary appropriations and the debt ceiling. The euro area, plagued by contingent risks of political uncertainty and adjustment fatigue, saw a contraction in its GDP for the third successive quarter in the last quarter of 2012. Japan too witnessed a contraction in its output in fourth quarter along with a worsening trade deficit raising the question of effectiveness of the emerging package of stimulus measures and how quickly they will turn around the economy. Growth in emerging market and developing economies (EDEs) bottomed down as well, but an enduring recovery is expected based on global headwinds. While some EDEs, including China , are gradually returning to faster growth, activity is slowing in others, hobbled by weak external demand and slack domestic investment.
Global unemployment is expected to remain on a higher trajectory this fiscal. In some advanced economies and emerging markets, demand for lower-skilled workers has fallen, particularly in manufacturing, leading to rising inequality within countries. Low female labor force participation in some countries represents another significant missed opportunity to strengthen economic development and growth. Adding to the complexity of these challenges, the global recession has produced high unemployment and further exacerbated income disparities. According to International Labour Organisation (ILO), the number of unemployed worldwide is expected to rise by 5.1 million in 2013, to more than 202 million in 2013 and by another 3 million in 2014. In 2012 a quarter of the increase of 4 million in global unemployment was seen in the advanced economies, while three quarters was in other regions, particularly in East Asia, South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa.
During the fourth quarter, international fuel prices remained high, though non-fuel commodity prices softened modestly, despite the slowdown in global growth, signaling persistent inflationary pressures, particularly for net energy importers. Inflation in advanced economies is likely to remain subdued as demand remains weak, leaving the global inflation scenario benign in the near term. Improved supply prospects in key commodities such as oil and food are also likely to restrain commodity price pressures. However, upside risks persist, especially on the back of some recovery in EDEs and large quantitative easing by advanced economies central banks. In the presence of significant excess global liquidity, triggers for supply disruptions or incremental news flow on reduced slack could exacerbate price volatility and become a source of inflationary pressure.
Higher threat of protectionism since the start of global economic crisis caused the World Trade Organization (WTO) to issue a warning that as long as global economic weakness persists, protectionist pressure will build and could eventually become overwhelming. WTO figures show that world trade growth fell to 2% in 2012, and is expected to remain sluggish in 2013 at around 3.3% as the economic slowdown in Europe continues to suppress global import demand. To prevent a self-destructive lapse into economic nationalism, countries need to refocus their attention on reinforcing the multilateral trading system. In 2012, the dollar value of world merchandise exports only increased by 0.2% to US$18.3 trillion and value of world commercial services exports rose just 2% in 2012 to US$4.3 trillion. UNCTAD data reveals that during the period 1995-2011, world commodity exports increased fivefold to reach US$6.055 trillion. The share of developing countries in world commodity exports also grew by 11% during this period reaching 51% by 2011. Commodity export value rose too as fuel exports increased to 52% of all commodity exports in 2011.
International financial market stress moderated greatly following aggressive monetary easing measures by the central banks of advanced economies, and recent policy initiatives on fiscal consolidation in the euro area economies, thereby encouraging capital flows into EDEs. However, in the absence of credible long-term fiscal consolidation in the US, and generally reduced fiscal space in advanced economies, the efficacy of monetary policy actions may get subdued due to resulting destabilising capital flows around the world. Easing measures by advanced economies may lower the value of their respective currencies, making their exports relatively cheaper and at the same time put pressure on the currencies of emerging countries. This will raise the risk of currency war as emerging markets are negatively impacted by volatile capital flows and currency fluctuations caused by policies of advanced economies.

National Basketball Championship

Men (Final): Tamil Nadu (Pratham Singh 11, Rikin Pethani 8, CV Dinesh 2, P Axilan 1) bt Railways (Prakash Mishra 9, Arjun Singh 6, Gagandeep Singh 4, Vikram parmar 1) 22-20 in Extra Time (regulation time 20-20)
Third place: Uttrakhand (Vishesh Briguvanshi 10) bt Kerala (Manoj R 6) 21-13
Semifinals: Railways (Arjun Singh 7, Gagandeep Singh 7) bt Kerala (Manoj R 7, Subhash Shenoy 5) 18-12; Tamil Nadu (Pratham Singh 8, Rikin Pethani 5) bt Uttrakhand (Vishesh Briguvanshi 5, Yadwinder Singh 4) 14-11
Quarterfinals: Kerala (Subhash Shenoy 13) bt Delhi (Narender Grewal 15) 20-18; Tamil Nadu (Pratham Singh 7) bt J&K (Surender 4) 22-7; Railways (Prakash Mishra 10) bt Chhattisgarh (Shrawan Kumar 11) 21-20; Uttrakhand (Vishesh Briguwanshi 7) bt Karnataka (Rajesh Uppar 4) 21-10
Pre-quarters: Karnataka (Sanjay Raj 8) bt UP (Ankur Anand 5) 20-11; Delhi (Narender Grehwal 12) bt Punjab (Ranbir Singh 10) 21-18

Women (Final): Railways (Manisha Dange 8, Geethu Anna Jose 7, P Anitha 6) bt Delhi (Raspreet Sidhu 7, Prashanti Singh 4) 21-12
Third place: Maharashtra (Shireen Limaye 7) bt Punjab (Kiranjeet Kaur 5) 19-10
Semifinals: Railways (Geethu Anna Jose 12, S Kokila 6) bt Punjab (Preeti Rani 6) 21-8; Delhi (Pratima Singh 6, Prashanti Singh 5) bt Maharashtra (Amruta Buskute 6, Larissa Fernandes 4) 16-13
Quarterfinals: Maharashtra (Amruta Buskute 8) bt Haryana Salma Devi 3) 21-5; Delhi (Raspreet Sidhu 7) bt Tamil Nadu (Raja Priya 7) 21-16; Punjab (Preeti Rani 8) bt Chhattisgarh (Sharanjeet Kaur 7) 12-11; Railways (Geethu Anna Jose 14) bt Rajasthan (Nisha Sharma 4) 21-6.

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