Monday, 23 April, 2018

RBI keeps repo rate unchanged at 6 percent, stance stays at 'neutral'

Sensex soars by 100 points The BSE Sensex rose nearly 100 points in the opening trade today
| 06 April, 2018, 11:00

Sentiment was also positive ahead of the RBI's monetary policy announcement due later in the day with traders expecting the central bank to sound less hawkish, thereby pushing back rate hike fears. With actual inflation having moderated, averaging 4.8 per cent in January-February, and food prices evening, the MPC has said the inflation trajectory in the first half of 2018-19 is expected to be lower compared to the assessment in February even if there is a spike in food prices.

"We continue to remain vigilant on how inflation unfolds, in the sense that we are data dependent", RBI Governor Urjit Patel said at a media briefing here following the MPC meeting. "We noted there are several uncertainties around the baseline inflation path which is why we've kept our stance neutral and rate unchanged".

MSP announced in the budget and the possible fiscal slippages at the level of both centre and states. Similarly, metal prices are also firmer.

The headline inflation after surging to a concerning 5.2 percent in December past year, cooled off to 5.07 percent in January and further to 4.4 percent in February.

The news renewed concerns that India was moving to impose an outright ban on cryptocurrencies, though a panel formed a year ago to study potential regulations has yet to release its findings or any proposals.

When examining both the RBI's press release banning dealing with cryptocurrencies and the Deputy Governor's statement, it isn't hard to connect the dots.


The RBI circular on analysis means that regulated entities such as banks, payment companies, and processing companies will not provide services to those dealing with Virtual Currencies. Reserve Bank of India will soon provide guidance on the desirability and feasibility to introduce a central bank digital currency.

It added that, "It is observed that at present only certain payment system operators and their outsourcing partners store the payment system data either partly or completely in the country". This marks a reduction from its February forecast of 5.1 percent to 5.6 percent in the first half and 4.5 percent to 4.6 percent in the second half. The MPC continued to be cautious on upside risks to inflation even as it revised its estimates lower.

RBI is expected to issue further instructions in this regard within one week.

The monetary policy committee of the Reserve Bank of India decides on the repo rate today, amid falling inflation, softening bond yields and a government borrowing programme that kicks off on Friday.

RBI was not only sanguine about inflation but growth too.

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