Daily India: India: Big Shortfall in Tax Collections, but Fiscal Deficit Likely to Be Contained and more

By January 11, 2019 India

In this briefing:

  1. India: Big Shortfall in Tax Collections, but Fiscal Deficit Likely to Be Contained
  2. Global Semiconductor Sales Fall In November 2018. This Is Not A Good Sign.

1. India: Big Shortfall in Tax Collections, but Fiscal Deficit Likely to Be Contained

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Tax revenues in India are running sharply lower than budget estimate. At current run rate, tax revenues would miss the budget estimate by almost US$19bn or 0.7% of GDP. This short-fall is almost entirely due to weaker GST revenues. Direct tax revenues are running broadly inline with the estimate suggesting the economy is doing fine. This short-fall however will not result in a material widening of the fiscal deficit. The government has been remarkably conservative in spending so far with expenditure growth running well below budget estimate. Non-tax revenues are also running ahead of full year estimate. This coupled with higher small savings collections will mean that Government borrowings will be lower than budget estimate even if the fiscal deficit is modestly higher and that will be a relief to the bond market. However, the quality of deficit is worsening with the government resorting to even more questionable routes (the PFC-REC transaction is a case in point) to achieve its disinvestment target. Additionally, it has started to resort to off-balance sheet financing with the loan to the ailing Air India from the NSSF. The numerical focus on fiscal deficit is resulting in wrong precedents being set and government finances becoming more opaque.

2. Global Semiconductor Sales Fall In November 2018. This Is Not A Good Sign.

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The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) just announced that worldwide sales of semiconductors reached $41.4 billion for the month of November 2018, an increase of 9.8% YoY, but down 1.1% MoM, the first such decline since February 2018. While the decline is modest and total 2018 total semiconductor sales are on track to reach ~$470 billion for a YoY increase of 15.7%, any decline in what should be peak holiday season is not a good sign. 

Semiconductor sales historically track Wafer Fab Equipment (WFE) sales with a roughly six month time lag. North American WFE sales have been declining each month for the past six months meaning that this latest semiconductor MoM sales decline is right on schedule.  

Leveraging a decade’s worth of historical data, we analyse two key questions that are likely on every investors mind. Firstly,for how long should we expect semiconductor sales to continue their decline. Secondly, how steep should we expect that decline to be?    

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