HomeEnglish NewsTop News StoriesRBI Monetary Policy Meet RBI Hikes Repo Rate

RBI Monetary Policy Meet RBI Hikes Repo Rate

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Edited By: Namit Singh Sengar

Last Updated: February 08, 2023, 10:11 IST

Reserve Bank of India Governor Shaktikanta Das (File photo)

The RBI MPC consists of three RBI officials and three external members appointed by the central government.

RBI Monetary Policy Meet: The Reserve Bank of India on Wednesday announced repo rate increase by 25 basis points to 6.5 %.

The decision was announced by RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das. MPC decision was by 4 out of 6 majority.

The decision of the six-member rate setting panel was announced by the Governor on Wednesday.

With retail inflation showing signs of moderation and remaining below the RBI’s 6% upper tolerance level, and projected slowdown in GDP growth in the next fiscal starting April, experts were of the opinion that the central bank may only opt for a 25 basis points hike in the key interest rate.

Another opinion was that the RBI may press the pause button on rate hike itself.

Meanwhile, the stock market opened higher on Wednesday, as investors expected a smaller interest rate hike by the RBI, while equities benefited from a broader sentiment after markets perceived comments from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell to be dovish.

The Nifty 50 index was up 0.2% at 17,757.10, while the S&P BSE Sensex rose 0.15% to 60,376.17, as of 09.16 am.

It was expected that the RBI is likely to raise rates by 25 basis points (bps), to mark the final increase in its current tightening cycle, and then pause for the rest of the year, a Reuters poll showed, as retail inflation finally came within the central bank’s tolerance band of 2%-6% in the last two months of 2022.

The RBI had raised the key lending rate by 35 basis points in December, after three straight 50 bps hikes, and had said its fight against inflation was not over yet.

Fed’s Powell said on Tuesday disinflation has started and that he expects significant declines in inflation this year, raising hopes of less aggressive rate hikes in the future.

Wall Street closed higher overnight, while MSCI’s gauge of the broader index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.75%. [MKTS/GLOB]

RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das-headed Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) started its three-day meeting on Monday amid expectations of a smaller 25 basis points rate increase or a pause on the rate hiking spree that started in May last year to check inflation.

In its December monetary policy review, the central bank raised the key benchmark interest rate (repo) by 35 basis points (bps) after delivering three back-to-back increases of 50 bps.

Since May last year, the RBI has increased the short-term lending rate by 225 basis points to contain inflation, mostly driven by external factors, especially global supply chain disruption following the Russia-Ukraine war outbreak.

The RBI has been tasked to ensure that retail inflation remains at 4 per cent with a margin of 2 per cent. However, it failed to keep the inflation rate below six per cent for three consecutive quarters beginning January 2022.

However, the retail inflation based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) has shown signs of moderation in November and December as it fell below the RBI’s upper tolerance level of 6 per cent.

The MPC consists of three RBI officials and three external members appointed by the central government.

The external members are Shashanka Bhide (Honorary Senior Advisor, National Council of Applied Economic Research, Delhi); Ashima Goyal (Emeritus Professor, Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai); and Jayanth R Varma (Professor, Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad).

Apart from the Governor, the RBI officials on the panel are Rajiv Ranjan (Executive Director) and Michael Debabrata Patra (Deputy Governor).

(With inputs from agencies)

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