Indian businessfolk have been morose of late. gdp growth is slowing. Corporate earnings and sales have been dismal, with the automotive industry walloped particularly hard. Redundancies are rising, suggesting that a broader downturn is around the corner. Though the government of Narendra Modi has offered a few goodies and pick-me-ups, including abandoning a new levy on foreign investment, India Inc has been sunk in gloom.
On September 20th the malaise lifted, with a surprise announcement by Nirmala Sitharaman, the finance minister, of steep reductions in corporate taxes. There were reports the plan had been cobbled together in a breathless 36 hours—and suspicions that the government hoped to get ahead of further bad economic news. If so, it will have been gratified by the response. Stock trading, which had been lethargic, perked up. The benchmark Sensex index saw its strongest two-day rise in a decade, of 8.3%.