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Inflation & Monetary Affairs


With the government counting on sovereign bond market and local commercial banks eyeing lucrative investment avenues, the second Treasury-bill auction of the fourth quarter was fairly well covered and successful. The amount of bids placed outstripped the auction target amount by 1.6 times. The government also accepted bids close to Rs233 billion, over and above the asked amount of Rs225 billion. The benchmark paper alone accounted for nearly three-fourth of the total participation level in the auction. On the other hand, tenders for the 3-month and 12-month papers amounted to Rs44 billion and Rs50 billion, respectively. In line with fundamentals and market-based forecasts, the poor participation level in 3-month paper is pointing to stable interest rate in the next few months. Market sentiments improved on account of slight respite in inflation, stability in rupee and improvement in overall balance of payment. Since a long term interest rate outlook is dicey at the moment, the ...

CPI: Taking a nap The cyclical upward movement in food inflation and the partial passing of the international oil price hike and its impact on other items pushed the consumer price index higher by 1.48 percent month-on-month during March. The CPI index had fallen 0.74 percent month-on-month in February. The high-base effect is playing its role as year-on-year inflation increased by 13.16 percent -- lower than the average of 14.59 percent for the first half of the fiscal year – ...
In stats we trust ‘We are not BBA students that we should be told about the elementary level definitions, calculation and importance of basic economic statistics frequently disseminated by government bodies,’ more than one middle management finance professionals complained about the “soporific presentations” at a recently held seminar organised by the central bank. But since the seminar – titled Contributions and Achievements of Official Statistics – was the first of its kind, perhaps the elementary level discussion, was rightly warranted.  ...
Inflation down with errors It’s just not the high base effect. The volatility in the food items, especially perishable, and some apparent change in recording practices are doing the trick. Headline inflation registered an increase of 12.91 percent for February, well over a percentage point below the market expectations. The lack of market mechanism is visible in high volatility in prices of daily use food items like tomatoes and onions is making analysts work troublesome – perishable food index declined ...
 Changing trends in T-bill auction The fourth and the last round of T-bill auctions of the current year has begun, with the government aiming to sell a total of Rs1150 billion worth of papers from all seven treasury auctions scheduled to be held in the current quarter. Just like the previous treasury auctions, market participation in the first treasury auction of this quarter, held two days back, remained strong with bids 1.4 times the amount subscribed. However, the government sold around Rs200 ...
Investors turning over a new leaf Amid limited investment avenues for commercial banks and lucrative rates being offered by government papers, a high level of market participation in treasury auctions is inevitable. However, what’s new in recent treasury auctions is that the market demand for the 6-month paper has been mending. With market participation crossing Rs300 billion, the government sold around Rs174 billion worth of T-bills in the fifth T- bill auction of the quarter, held two days back, in keeping with ...


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Foreign Debt $62.649bn
Per Cap Income $1,512
GDP Growth 4.24%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-2.197 bln
Exports $1.729 bln
Imports $3.926 bln
WeeklyNovember 23, 2015
Reserves $19.713 bln