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RBI keeps key rates unchanged

RBI keeps key rates unchanged

Policy repo rate under liquidity adjustment facility has been kept unchanged at 6.0 percent.Consequently, reverse repo rate under the LAF remains at 5.75 percent and marginal standing facility rate and the Bank Rate at 6.25 percent. The central bank reiterated that it is maintaining a "neutral" stance in monetary policy.

"Going forward, the inflation path will be influenced by several factors", it said in the Fifth Bi-Monthly Monetary Policy Review unveiled today, keeping the key policy or the repo rate unchanged at 6 per cent. "Moderation in inflation excluding food and fuel observed in Q1 of 2017-18 has, by and large, reversed". The central bank, however, has been cautious due to rising inflation that's now at a seven-month high of 3.58 per cent.

"The staggered impact of HRA increases by various state governments may push up housing inflation further in 2018, with attendant second order effects". Supply chains have been broken and growth stayed below potential following the roll out of a new consumption tax and Prime Minister Narendra Modi's withdrawal of high-value currency notes, pushing his advisers to seek lower borrowing costs even as global central banks tighten. According to a Bloomberg survey, 42 of the 48 economists see the repo rate, or the rate at which banks borrow from the RBI, unchanged at 6 per cent. The decision on Wednesday would be aimed at striking a balance between strengthening the country's economic growth and securing the retail inflation target of 4 percent, plus or minus 2 percent on a durable basis, stated Scotiabank.

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The RBI also revised its inflation projections for the coming months marginally. A majority of the economists had predicted the RBI holding key interest rates.

Five of six MPC members voted in favour of a status quo, the RBI statement said, adding that MPC member Ravindra H. Dholakia had voted for a policy rate reduction of 25 basis points.

"We maintain our call that the RBI will be on a pause in the near term", he said.


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