Real-time Stock quotes, portfolio, LIVE TV and more.
Jul 31, 2012, 11.25 AM IST
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) left interest rates unchanged for the second time since June, in line with expectations, while cutting its growth forecast and lifting its inflation outlook as economic conditions deteriorate.
The RBI kept its policy repo rate at 8% and left the cash reserve ratio for banks at 4.75%. CRR is the share of deposits banks must keep with the RBI.
"In the current circumstances, lowering policy rates will only aggravate inflationary impulses without necessarily stimulating growth," RBI Gov. Duvvuri Subbarao wrote in the monetary policy review, adding the central bank's primary focus remains inflation control.
A Reuters poll of 20 economists last week showed all but one expected the RBI to hold rates steady.
Headline wholesale price index inflation remained above 7% in June, while India's consumer price index was 10%. Growth in Asia's third-largest economy slowed to a nine year low of 5.3% in the March quarter.
On Tuesday, the central bank cut its economic growth outlook for the fiscal year that ends in March to 6.5%, from the 7.3% assumption made in April, putting its outlook closer to that of many private economists.
It also raised its headline inflation projection for March 2013 to 7%, from 6.5% in its April review.
"Headline inflation has persisted even as demand has moderated and the pricing power of corporates weakened," Subbarao wrote.
"Non-food manufactured products inflation has also not declined to the extent warranted by the growth moderation. This reflects severe supply constraints and entrenchment of inflation expectations," he wrote.
The RBI has repeatedly called on the government to take steps to revive investment and cut populist spending that bloats its fiscal deficit, and on Tuesday said an immediate cut in fuel and fertilser subsidies is needed if the government is to reach its target of cutting subsidies to under 2% of GDP.
India's fiscal deficit for the fiscal year that ended in March was 5.76% of GDP, and many economists say its aim to trim that to 5.1% in the current fiscal year looks optimistic.
The RBI sought to assure markets that it will continue to respond to tight liquidity conditions in the banking sector, including through purchases of government bonds. It reduced the minimum requirement for banks' government bond holdings to 23% of deposits, from 24% previously, in a move to free up liquidity.
Tags: Reserve Bank of India, RBI, interest rates, repo rate, Duvvuri Subbarao, monetary policy review
May 24 2013, 16:42
- in Rupee
May 23 2013, 09:33
- in Technicals