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RBI hits pause on interest rate hike, says won’t hesitate to act if needed

Today, the Reserve Bank of India maintained the repo rate and the key benchmark interest rate at 6.5 percent, saying that it would not hesitate to intervene in the future if the circumstances demanded.

Since May of last year, the central bank has hiked interest rates by 250 basis points.

Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Shaktikanta Das said that the central bank’s policy remains focused on “removal of accommodation,” which means that it may consider more rate hikes if needed.Shaktikanta Das said that the halt in rate rises is “just for this conference.”

Real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth for 2023–24 is projected at 6.5%, with the 1st Quarter (Q1) at 7.8%, the 2nd Quarter (Q2) at 6.2%, the 3rd Quarter (Q3) at 6.1%, and the 4th Quarter (Q4) at 5.9%, according to the RBI governor, who also noted that economic activity remains robust and that headline inflation is projected to moderate in Financial Year (FY) 2023–24.

Governor Shaktikanta Das has said that stopping monetary policy actions too soon during a cycle of tightening monetary policy would be a costly policy mistake.

In a world of great uncertainty, the governor also emphasised that specific forward guidance on the future course of monetary policy would be unproductive.

The annual rate of retail inflation was 6.44 percent in February, down from 6.52 percent in January but still over the RBI’s stipulated target range of 2% to 6%.

Rain that doesn’t happen at the right time of year could make food more expensive, and OPEC’s recent decision to cut supply has caused oil prices to go up, which could add to imported inflation.

Private company surveys done by S&P Global revealed that India’s manufacturing sector increased at its fastest rate in three months in March, while services industry growth slowed somewhat from February’s 12-year high.

Several experts believe that indications of difficulty in the U.S. and European banking sectors may result in tighter financial conditions and a more severe global recession. In India, decreasing imports and stagnating bank loan demand are also early indicators of a recession.

After being low at the end of March, the banking sector now has more money than it did before.

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