India Cuts Repo Rate to Lowest in Over 5 Years

The Reserve Bank of India cut its benchmark repo rate by 25 bps to 6.5 percent during the meeting held on April 5th, 2016, as widely expected. It is the first reduction since September 2015 and the lowest rate since January 2011.
RBI l Rida Husna | 4/5/2016 8:01:54 AM
The central bank also decided to raise the reverse repo by 25 bps to 6.0 percent while ensuring more availability of cash in the banking system by reducing the cash proportion of their daily reserve requirements and maintaining the cash reserve at 4.0 percent

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

In India, inflation has evolved along the projected trajectory and the target set for January 2016 was met with a marginal undershoot. Going forward, CPI inflation is expected to decelerate modestly and remain around 5 per cent during 2016-17 with small inter-quarter variations.

The uneven recovery in growth in 2015-16 is likely to strengthen gradually into 2016-17, assuming a normal monsoon, the likely boost to consumption demand from the implementation of the 7th Pay Commission recommendations and OROP, and continuing monetary policy accommodation. After two consecutive years of deficient monsoon, a normal monsoon would work as a favourable supply shock, strengthening rural demand and augmenting the supply of farm products that also influence inflation. On the other hand, the fading impact of lower input costs on value addition in manufacturing, persisting corporate sector stress and risk aversion in the banking system, and the weaker global growth and trade outlook could impart a downside to growth outcomes going forward.

In the Union Budget for 2016-17, the Government has adhered to the path of fiscal consolidation and this will support the disinflation process going forward. The Government has also set out a comprehensive strategy for reinvigorating demand in the rural economy, enhancing the economy’s social and physical infrastructure, and improving the environment for doing business and deepening institutional reform. The implementation of these measures should improve supply conditions and allow efficiency and productivity gains to accrue. Given weak private investment in the face of low capacity utilisation, a reduction in the policy rate by 25 bps will help strengthen activity and aid the Government’s initiatives. 

Ensuring current and past policy rate cuts transmit to lending rates is more important at this juncture. The stance of monetary policy will remain accommodative. The Reserve Bank will continue to watch macroeconomic and financial developments in the months ahead with a view to responding with further
policy action as space opens up.

India Cuts Repo Rate  to Lowest in Over 5 Years