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Improving pace in Reforms paves the ‘Red Carpet’ for Rate cut

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Why RBI refrained from Rate Cuts

  1. The Central bank of India, the RBI refrained from reducing rates since April 2012. The apex bank cited the high risk of inflation which might increase owing to the fact of rising fiscal deficit.
  2. RBI re-iterated that rate cuts alone cannot boost growth, unless the government implements economic reforms to improve the investment climate over the economy.
  3. With the recent Inflation numbers reported, which suggests a downward trajectory for inflation have paved way for monetary policy easing next quarter.
  4. The government reforms which includes the Cabinet approval of the land acquisition bill and a national investment board for fast tracking large infrastructure projects, too have signaled for easing monetary policy in coming quarter.

The apex bank of India or the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), in its monetary policy review on December 18, 2012 kept the repo rate unchanged at 8 per cent. The bank re-iterated its guidance on easing the policy in the coming quarter. The cash reserve ratio (CRR) was also unchanged and was held constant at 4.25 per cent.

Inflation & GDP

The WPI inflation data released recently in November though eased the tension to some extent as the data recorded fell to a 10 month low of 7.24 per cent. Also the recent decline in the core inflation helped in easing the tension over the poor economic performance. The comforting core inflation data reflected slowing demand-side pressures in the economy.

If we talk about the breakup in different types of inflation data, we see that the non-food manufacturing inflation fell to 4.5 per cent in November from 5.8 per cent in August. On the other hand the primary and fuel inflation as reported earlier were revised significantly upwards, revisions in core inflation have been relatively minor, confirming weak demand conditions in the economy.

Owing to the fact of the lagged impact of slowing GDP growth (demand) this year on core inflation (prices), WPI inflation is likely to moderate further in the year 2013-14.

With GDP growth expected to slow sharply to around 5.5 per cent in 2012-13, from 6.5 per cent last year, average core inflation next year is expected to be much lower than in the current fiscal. On the other hand, due to the continuous revision in the fuel prices there would be an increase in WPI inflation in 2013-14 from  the comfort level of 5%.

Credit off take growth

  • Aggregate bank credit growth moderated to around 16 per cent y-o-y as on November, 2012 from 19.5 per cent on March 30, 2012 on account of deceleration in growth across industry segments, such as textiles, metals, infrastructure and commercial real estate.
  • On account of higher demand for retail loans due to a cut in the interest rates by the bank on these loan products would lead to slight pick-up in investment activity in the second half of the year.

Deposits to grow

  • Growth in bank deposits slowed down to 13.5 per cent y-o-y as on November 2012, as demand for funds moderated and inflation eroded into household savings.
  • Owing to a decline in deposit rates, high inflation, moderation in credit growth would result in increase of deposits for the bank to grow substantially in the coming year.

Thus we can see that RBI is planning to ease the monetary policy in the coming quarter. The effort from the government towards the reforms in different sectors and also the favorable numbers reported in case of inflation suggests a better monetary policy in days to come which would help the economy grow at a much rapid rate than expected.

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Niraj Satnalika

Niraj is an MBA in International Business (Finance). Prior to this he completed B.Tech in Electronics and Instrumentation. He is currently working with Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Kolkata in capacity of Consultant. Satnalika is actively involved with an NGO and works towards promoting education among the underprivileged.

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