GDP growth to strengthen: RBI

10 factors that will impact RBI’s decision in first monetary policy review 2018-19

According to Reuters, a poll also showed all 61 respondents expected the central bank to keep the repo rate steady at 6 per cent, its lowest level since November 2010. In which five of six members voted for a hold, while one wanted a hike in the repo rate. "We noted there are several uncertainties around the baseline inflation path which is why we kept the stance neutral and rate unchanged".

"Overall food inflation should remain under check on the assumption of a normal monsoon and effective supply management by the government", the Reserve Bank of India said in a statement in Mumbai.

Bankers today welcomed the Reserve Bank's decision to revise downwards the inflation projections for the current financial year and said the move will be a positive for the market.

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As per official data, retail inflation based on the CPI fell to 4.44 per cent in February, from 5.07 per cent in January, but remained outside the RBI's medium-term target of 4 per cent.

But, RBI has maintained its "neutral" stance.

The MPC said it saw inflation in the second half of this fiscal year at 4.4, but that was without taking into account any increase from higher housing allowances to government employees.

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In view of the global price rise in crude oil prices, the likelihood of a cut in interest rates by the MPC is quite low.

Investment banks such as Goldman Sachs Group Inc. expect India to grow at 7.6 percent in the year started April 1, amid rising demand in the economy. GDP growth has been projected to strengthen to 7.4 percent in FY19, from 6.6 percent in 2017-18; 7.3-7.4 percent in H1 and 7.3-7.6 percent in H2, RBI said.

Nevertheless, the central bank is unlikely to change its stance on rates for some time as it continues to track incoming data. Even for fiscal 2018, there was a shortfall of 100bps in the actual GVA growth (as per the Central Statistics Office's estimate) and the MPC's GVA projection in the first bi-monthly monetary policy for FY18. Gross fixed capital formation turned around in Q2 and accelerated in the second half, primarily in Q3, reflecting the first signs of a sustained expansion in capital goods production and a modest revival of construction activity. "The CC facility places undue burden on banks in managing their liquidity requirements with corresponding repercussions for RBI's liquidity operations", said RBI Deputy Governor NS Vishwanathan.

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