RBI retains economic growth projection at 6.7 per cent for FY'18

09 Décembre, 2017, 06:52 | Auteur: Christine Menetries
  • RBI retains economic growth projection at 6.7 per cent for FY'18

Mumbai: As expected the RBI on Wednesday kept the repo rate unchanged at 6 per cent citing upside risk to inflation from food and fuel prices.

Nonetheless, the RBI left its policy stance "neutral" while slightly softening its language on inflation by saying risks were "evenly balanced". Five members of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) voted to keep rates unchanged, while one voted for a 25 basis point (bp) cut.

RBI continues to stress on the importance of transmission on lower policy rates by banks to existing as well as new borrowers.

Although the RBI status quo on the key rate was on expected lines, the BSE Sensex closed 205.26 points or 0.63 per cent down at 32,597.18. This decision is in line with market expectations.

"Our surveys indicate that corporate houses are also contending with rising input cost conditions and higher risk of pass through to retail prices in the near term".

Annual consumer inflation is at a seven month high striking the 3.6% mark in October with various underlying conjectures surrounding rising crude oil prices and hampering industrial growth. Though the rate is under the central bank's target of 4 per cent, its inflation forecast for remainder of the current financial year - 4.3-4.7 per cent - is what is bothering the central bank.

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Tumbling industry numbers for the second quarter and a lingering PMI figure has made RBI policy hold rates in the recent Monetary Policy Review.

Apart from these domestic factors, global factors in terms of pace of and uncertainty over monetary policy normalisation in advance economies and fiscal expansion in the U.S. have the potential source of higher inflation. Prices of pulses have continued to show a downward bias.

"However, the MPC also expects the usual seasonal moderation in the prices of vegetables and fruits and the lowering of tax rates by the GST Council to mitigate some of these pressures, " Patel said. Things may not seem that promising with the Monetary Policy Committee contemplating on a status quo to meet its inflation target of 4 ± 2%, but the onus is now placed on global markets which have largely remained buoyant.

The monetary policy committee highlighted the usual upside risks to inflation due to the implementation of farm loan waivers by states, strengthening of worldwide crude prices and potential fiscal slippage by central and state governments.

Meanwhile, market watchers were expecting the RBI not to change policy tone to be overly hawkish, given that liquidity was already turning tight, yields were hardening and growth dynamics are yet to improve markedly. It had risen more than 60 bps since the RBI's August 2 policy meeting.

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