The US economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic is slowing due to the spread of the Delta variant and a sizable segment of unvaccinated people, Joseph Brusuelas, chief economist at accounting and consulting firm RSM US LLP, has said.
“In the United States, infections have increased to a rate of 157,000 per day, with each loss of life and the use of medical resources and foregone activity taking their toll on economic progress,” Brusuelas said in a blog post, adding that’s a significant increase from 12,000 Covid-19 cases per day in June.
Brusuelas noted that “the refusal of a segment of the US population to accept vaccination” is restraining overall economic activity and the full reopening of the economy, as around 62 per cent of the total American population over 12 have been fully vaccinated so far,” reports Xinhua news agency.
“Businesses that have been scrambling to find workers and input products to meet surging demand are now likely to find customers-and workers-less willing to risk exposure to an unvaccinated person or to an unwitting transmission of the delta variant,” he said, adding his firm recently downgraded its forecast for US economic growth in the second half of the year.
“We are now anticipating the economy to grow by 6.5 per cent for the entire year with the risk of lower growth should events dictate. Should the delta variant spread further, then we would expect to shave more than a percentage point off that forecast in the upcoming days or weeks,” he said.
Brusuelas’ comments came after economists at Goldman Sachs recently downgraded their forecast for US economic growth in the third quarter to 5.5 per cent from 9 per cent due to the impact of the Delta variant.
“The impact of the Delta variant on growth and inflation is proving to be somewhat larger than we expected,” economists at the investment bank said, noting spending on dining, travel, and some other services is likely to decline in August.
Brusuelas also warned that the fourth wave of the pandemic caused by the Delta variant has the potential to rival the peak of infections of earlier this year, as populations move back indoors in the fall and winter.
No increase in fuel prices for 2nd consecutive day on Tuesday
Petrol and diesel prices remained unchanged for the second consecutive on Tuesday providing relief to consumers who have been facing a regular increase in fuel prices in the past few months taking the retail rates to historic high levels.
With no revision, the price of petrol in Delhi remained Rs 105.84 a litre and Rs 111.77 per litre in Mumbai, according to a price notification of state-owned fuel retailers. In Mumbai, diesel rates also remained static at Rs 102.52 a litre; while in Delhi it costs Rs 94.57, the same as on Sunday.
The price pause comes after the rates rose for four straight days when the rates of both petrol and diesel rose by Rs 1.40 paise per litre. There was no change in the rates also on October 12 and 13.
Diesel prices have increased on 19 out of the last 25 days taking up its retail price by Rs 5.95 per litre in Delhi.
With diesel prices rising sharply, the fuel is now available at over Rs 100 a litre in several parts of the country. This dubious distinction was earlier available to petrol that had crossed Rs 100 a litre-mark across the country a few months earlier.
Petrol prices had maintained stability since September 5, but oil companies finally raised the pump prices last week. Petrol prices have also risen on 16 of the previous 21 days taking up the pump price by Rs 4.65 per litre.
Crude prices have been on a surge rising over a three-year high level of over $ 85.7 a barrel now. It has softened a bit, falling below $ 85 a barrel now. Since September 5, when both petrol and diesel prices were revised, the price of petrol and diesel in the international market is higher by around $9-10 per barrel as compared to the average prices during August.
Markets open on a positive note
The 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) on Tuesday opened on a positive note during the morning trade.
The Sensex of the BSE opened at 62,156.48 points and touched a high of 62,159.29 points. The Sensex touched a low of 61,964.41 points.
On Monday, the Sensex closed at 61,765.59 points.
The Sensex is trading at 62,061.59 points, up by 296.00 points or 0.48 per cent.
On the other hand, the broader 50-scrip Nifty at National Stock Exchange (NSE) opened at lower note at 18,602.35 points after closing at 18,477.05 points.
The Nifty is trading at 18,549.55 points in the morning.
Petrol, diesel prices rise again, burn bigger holes in consumers’ pockets
Petrol and diesel price rose again on Friday taking its retail rates to record high levels across the country affecting consumers this festive season.
Accordingly, in the national capital, petrol and diesel prices increased by 35 paisa per litre to Rs 105.14 per litre and Rs 93.87 per litre, respectively.
In India’s financial capital of Mumbai, petrol became costlier by 34 paisa per litre to Rs 111.09 a litre on Friday, the highest across all the four metro cities. Diesel also costs Rs 101.77 for one litre in Mumbai.
The price hike on Friday is for a second consecutive day after the rates remained static on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Diesel prices now have increased on 17 out of the last 21 days taking up its retail price by Rs 5.25 per litre in Delhi.
With diesel price rising sharply, the fuel is now available at over Rs 100 a litre in several parts of the country. This dubious distinction was earlier available to petrol that had crossed Rs 100 a litre mark across the country a few months earlier.
Petrol prices had maintained stability since September 5 but oil companies finally raised its pump prices last week and this week given a spurt in the product prices lately. Petrol prices have also risen on 14 of the previous 17 days taking up its pump price by Rs 3.95 per litre.
OMCs had preferred to maintain their watch prices on global oil situation before making any revision in prices. This is the reason why petrol prices were not revised for last three weeks. But extreme volatility in global oil price movement has now pushed OMCs to effect the increase.
Crude price has been on a surge rising over three year high level of over $84.5 a barrel now. Since September 5 when both petrol and diesel prices were revised, the price of petrol and diesel in the international market is higher by around $9-10 per barrel as compared to average prices during August.
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