RBI Holds Policy Rate Unchanged

The Reserve Bank of India left its benchmark repo rate on hold at 7.5 percent in April, following a surprise rate cut last month. Policymakers said will allow the disinflationary momentum to spread through the economy while waiting for commercial banks to cut lending rates.

Policymakers also kept the keep the cash reserve ratio unchanged at 4.0 percent and the reverse repo rate at 6.5 percent. The Bank Rate was left steady at 8.5 percent

Excerpts from the statement by Dr. Raghuram G. Rajan, Governor:

Transmission of policy rates to lending rates has not taken place so far despite weak credit off take and the front loading of two rate cuts. With little transmission, and the possibility that incoming data will provide more clarity on the balance of risks on inflation, the Reserve Bank will maintain status quo in its monetary policy stance in this review.

The Reserve Bank will stay focussed on ensuring that the economy disinflates gradually and durably, with CPI inflation targeted at 6 per cent by January 2016 and at 4 per cent by the end of 2017-18. 

The Reserve Bank’s intent is to allow the disinflationary momentum to spread through the economy, but remain vigilant about any resurgence of inflationary pressures that may destabilise the progress towards the inflation objectives set in the Agreement.

The outlook for growth is improving gradually. Comfortable liquidity conditions should enable banks to transmit the recent reductions in the policy rate into their lending rates, thereby improving financing conditions for the productive sectors of the economy. 

Going forward, the accommodative stance of monetary policy will be maintained, but monetary policy actions will be conditioned by incoming data. First, the Reserve Bank will await the transmission by banks of its front-loaded rate reductions in January and February into their lending rates. Second, developments in sectoral prices, especially those of food, will be monitored, as will the effects of recent weather disturbances and the likely strength of the monsoon, as the Reserve Bank stays vigilant to any threats to the disinflation that is underway. The Reserve Bank will look through both seasonal as well as base effects. Third, the Reserve Bank will look to a continuation and even acceleration of policy efforts to unclog the supply response so as to make available key inputs such as power and land. Further progress on repurposing of public spending from poorly targeted subsidies towards public investment and on reducing the pipeline of stalled investment will also be helpful in containing supply constraints and creating room for monetary accommodation. Finally, the Reserve Bank will watch for signs of normalisation of the US monetary policy, though it anticipates India is better buffered against likely volatility than in the past.

RBI Holds Policy Rate Unchanged

RBI l Rida Husna l rida@tradingeconomics.com
4/7/2015 9:02:39 AM