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EPFO likely to retain interest rate at 8.55% for FY19

EPFO likely to retain interest rate at 8.55% for FY19

Finance
New Delhi: Retirement fund body EPFO is likely to retain the interest rate on employees' provident fund at 8.55 per cent rate for the 2018-19 fiscal for its more than six crore subscribers, a highly-placed source said. "The proposal for providing interest rate for the current fiscal would come up in the meeting of the trustees of Employees' Provident Fund Organisation on February 21," the source said. "The interest rate would be retained at 8.55 per cent for the current fiscal as provided in 2017-18 in view of forthcoming Lok Sabha elections. The EPFO's income projections for the current fiscal would be tabled in the meeting." However, the source did not dismissed completely speculations that interest rate on EPF deposits for this fiscal can be more than 8.55 per cent in view of Lok Sabha ...
RBI may hit pause button on interest rate reduction

RBI may hit pause button on interest rate reduction

Finance
A rate cut by the Reserve Bank of India, which was seen as a certainty until Thursday, looks unlikely now thanks to the expansionary budget. Economists said that by increasing spending and borrowing, the government will be boosting consumption and widening the fiscal deficit. This, in turn, will put a pressure on inflation, thereby reducing the headroom for the RBI to cut key interest rates. According to Radhika Rao, economist with DBS Bank, RBI is likely to factor in the modest slippage in the fiscal deficit target at its February 7 monetary policy review. “Nonetheless, with the broader fiscal targets not deviating sharply from the consolidation path, we expect the RBI to prioritise its price stability mandate,” she said. Next week’s policy is likely to see RBI shift i...
Saturn losing rings at 'worst-case-scenario' rate

Saturn losing rings at 'worst-case-scenario' rate

Technology
Saturn is losing its rings at a "worst-case-scenario" rate according to new research by NASA. The gas giant's iconic rings are being pulled into the planet by gravity as a dusty rain of ice particles under the influence of the planet's magnetic field."We estimate that this 'ring rain' drains an amount of water products that could fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool from Saturn's rings in half an hour," said James O'Donoghue of NASA."From this alone, the entire ring system will be gone in 300 million years," Mr O'Donoghue added, but noted that actually the situation was far more dire.Measurements of ring-material detected falling into Saturn's equator by the Cassini spacecraft suggest that the rings actually have less than 100 million years to live. "This is relatively s...
Dow Jones falls 508 points amid interest rate hike concerns

Dow Jones falls 508 points amid interest rate hike concerns

Science
Dec. 17 (UPI) -- The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell more than 500 points Monday as stocks were down across the board amid concerns over rising interest rates. At the end of trading Monday, the Dow was down 507.53 points, or 2.11 percent, while the S&P 500 dropped fell 2.08 percent and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 2.27 percent, as all 30 stocks in the Dow and all 11 sectors in the S&P 500 were down, CNBC reported. Monday's losses brought the S&P 500 to its lowest close for the year at 2,545.94 points. Both the S&P 500 and the Dow are on pace for their worst December performances since the Great Depression, dripping more than 7 percent this month. A looming interest hike was cited as a factor in the widespread decline of the market, which appeared to be recovering from a tumultuous Octob...
UK growth rate downgrade blamed on 'Beast'

UK growth rate downgrade blamed on 'Beast'

Business
The annual rate of growth in the UK economy has been downgraded because of a bigger-than-expected hit from last winter's snow. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said that while gross domestic product (GDP) growth for the second quarter had been left unchanged at 0.4% following its latest revision, it had cut its estimate for output during the previous three months.It now calculated that disruption, particularly to the construction sector, from the so-called 'Beast from the East' was worse than originally anticipated. Image: Housebuilding suffered during the cold wintry weather of February and March It revised growth between January to March to a figure of just 0.1% from 0.2%.It meant, the ONS said, that the annu...