The Week In Numbers: India’s Magical Growth Formula

India, it would seem, has discovered a new and effortless way to boost economic growth. It has devised a fresh method to calculate its Gross Domestic Product (GDP). According to the latest number-crunching technique, last year’s growth was revised to 6.9%, rather than the paltry 4.7% it had previously reported.

The new souped-up calculator also showed that the economy magically grew 7.5% in the last quarter of 2014. That would put India’s growth ahead of China’s 7.3% quarterly increase.

In a totally unrelated development, Shanghai has ditched GDP growth targets. It is the first major Chinese region to abandon the commonly-used measure to gauge growth.

Interestingly, the move coincides with signs that China’s growth is coming off the boil. Last year the Chinese economy grew 7.4%, which is the slowest rate of growth in 24 years. Meanwhile, inflation hit a worrying five-year low of 0.8%.

In defence of the controversial manoeuver, Shanghai said excessive focus on GDP has been detrimental to the region. It seems that it has encouraged officials to raze agricultural land to build houses.

Japan’s benchmark stock market index, the Nikkei 225, has been on fire this week. It rose to a 7-1/2 year high. In fact, it has been on the rise since around the time that the Japanese government revealed plans to print and pump money into its struggling economy.

It appears that Japan investors have shrugged off worries that Greece might ditch the euro. Instead, they have taken comfort from economic data that showed an increase in core machinery orders in December. Over the last three years, the Lyxor UCITS ETF Japan (Topix) (SGX: CW4), which tracks the Japanese market, has delivered a total return of 8.6%.

The Singapore Exchange said it is on track to introduce a minimum trading price (MTP) of $0.20 per share. This would apply to all companies listed on the mainboard. The MTP will be effective in a year’s time.  To help comply with the MTP rule, the Exchange said it will not charge companies that consolidate their shares, provided the consolidation is related to the minimum trading price.

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