EPFO data of September and its implications:
The Employees' Provident Fund Organization's (EPFO) September data provided yet another sign of economic recovery. The data shows that a total of 7.87 lakh people have rejoined EPFO in September. September saw the highest monthly enrollment this year.
However, this fiscal year, as many as 44,69,771 workers had exited the EPFO under the pandemic impact.
The EPFO data translates into the number of people joining and exiting employment. Hence, increasing EPFO accounts indicates expanding job opportunities and more sectors opening up. It also indicates that the migrant population is returning to the workplace.
Sovereign gold bond opens for subscription:
The Sovereign Gold Bond Scheme has opened for subscription. It will be open from December 28 to January 1, 2021. The issue price for the latest tranche of gold bonds is fixed at Rs 5,000. A discount of Rs 50 per gram is being offered to investors who are buying online.
The gold bonds are being sold through banks, designated post offices, and recognized stock exchanges (NSE and BSE).
The issue has come at a time when most of the analysts are bullish on the prospect of gold in the next financial year. The dollar is expected to remain weak which could help gold prices rise. Higher inflationary pressure can also be favorable for gold.
The demand for gold is expected to recover in India after a few years of underperformance. India is the largest importer of gold. Improved demand from here will keep gold prices elevated.
Vehicle demand on track of recovery:
The Indian auto industry will see strong growth in 2021-22, says a Nomura report. It suggested that electric vehicles & two-wheelers will gain good traction from here on.
Two-wheeler demand should bounce back after a long downcycle. The industry has been forced to raise prices recently due to the volatile commodity prices. Yet, that shouldn't hamper genuine demand for automobiles.
We are not optimistic about the demand for electric vehicles. EV adoption is still at a nascent stage. In absence of widespread charging infrastructure, EVs will not be a viable option for commuters.