RBI monetary policy review: Here’s why central bank may once again hold rates

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Updated: April 2, 2018 11:31:11 AM

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will come out with its first monetary policy review of this fiscal on April 5. In its last review, the central bank maintained a status quo in terms of policy rates.

rbi, RBI monetary policy, Urjit Patel, rbi, rbi governor, US Federal Reserve, MSF rate, Morgan Stanley, BofAMLWith inflation on the downside and improvement in economic growth indicators, it’s interesting to see how the RBI  decides this time around. (Reuters)

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will come out with its first monetary policy review of this fiscal on April 5. In its last review, the central bank maintained a status quo in terms of policy rates. With inflation on the downside and improvement in economic growth indicators, it’s interesting to see what RBI announces this time around. The central bank will remain cautious and maintain a neutral policy stance, global financial services major UBS said. The forthcoming monetary policy committee (MPC) meeting holds significance with respect to guidance the RBI has to offer and the general market view is of an extended pause, The Indian Express reported citing Lakshmi Iyer, Chief Investment Officer, Kotak Mutual Fund. The MPC’s reaction to the government’s recent cut in government borrowing programme and its view on the fiscal will be interesting, she added.

MPC is expected to maintain the repo rate at 6 percent, Tanvee Gupta Jain, Economist, and Rohit Arora, Strategist, UBS investment Bank, told The Indian Express. The is an indication that interest rates may not be eased this year, CARE Ratings said. The interest rate movements have been varied for the period April to date, CARE said. The RBI has projected the Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation to average 5.1 to 5.6 percent during the first half of the fiscal 2019 in its last outing.

UBS also said that the headline CPI inflation will rise over the next few months. The RBI has averaged CPI to 4.7 per cent year-on-year in 2018-19 when compared with 3.6 percent in the last financial year.

In the last monetary policy review on February 7, RBI Governor Urjit Patel had said that “significant and postponed deviations” from them current fiscal targets may make going ahead difficult.

In addition, risks over implementation of 7th pay panel in states, hike in oil prices, rise in customs duties and fiscal slippage may add more challenges going ahead, he had said.

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