RBI keeps interest repo rates, reverse repo rates unchanged

New Delhi:

Reserve Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), headed by Governor Urjit Patel, kept the repo rate under the liquidity adjustment facility (LAF) unchanged at 6.5 percent and the reverse repo rate under the LAF also unchanged at 6.25 percent.

The RBI also kept the GDP projection for 2018-19 unchanged at 7.4 percent.

“The decision of the MPC is consistent with the stance of calibrated tightening of monetary policy in consonance with the objective of achieving the medium-term target for consumer price index (CPI) inflation of 4 per cent within a band of +/- 2 per cent, while supporting growth,” said RBI said in a statement.

“Although Q2 growth was lower than that projected in the October policy, GDP growth in H1 has been broadly along the line in the April policy when for the year as a whole GDP growth was projected at 7.4 per cent. Going forward, lower rabi sowing may adversely affect agriculture and hence rural demand. Financial market volatility, slowing global demand and rising trade tensions pose negative risk to exports. However, on the positive side, the decline in crude oil prices is expected to boost India’s growth prospects by improving corporate earnings and raising private consumption through higher disposable incomes. Increased capacity utilisation in the manufacturing sector also portends well for new capacity additions.

There has been significant acceleration in investment activity and high frequency indicators suggest that it is likely to be sustained. Credit offtake from the banking sector has continued to strengthen even as global financial conditions have tightened. FDI flows could also increase with the improving prospects of the external sector. The demand outlook as reported by firms polled in the Reserve Bank’s IOS has improved in Q4. Based on an overall assessment, GDP growth for 2018-19 has been projected at 7.4 per cent (7.2-7.3 per cent in H2) as in the October policy, and for H1:2019-20 at 7.5 per cent, with risks somewhat to the downside,” said RBI.

This is the second time in a row that RBI has kept the repo rate unchanged. As a result, the car loans and home loans for the common man will remain unchanged.

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