RBI meeting minutes show widespread concern about rising inflation

RBI Deputy Governor Viral Acharya, who looks after monetary policy, voted to keep rates on hold, calling an economic recovery "nascent and worthy of some support in the short run". But he warned he would consider changing the RBI's stance should inflation accelerate.

image of RBI logo
The minutes of RBI’s meeting this month, which were released on Wednesday, showed widespread concerns among the six MPC members about inflation, which accelerated to a 17-month high of 5.21 per cent in December from a year earlier, driven higher by food and energy.
 
The MPC voted 5-1 at the meeting to keep the policy rate on hold at 6.0 per cent and to retain its "neutral" monetary policy stance. RBI Executive Director Michael Patra was the sole member to vote for a 25 basis point hike.
 
Although data after the RBI meeting showed inflation easing to 5.07 per cent in January, it remains well above the central bank's 4 per cent target.
 
The MPC members expressed concern about continued inflationary risks, citing factors including high food and global crude prices and the government's decision to increase spending for the year starting in April to support a struggling agricultural sector.
 
But most also appeared mindful of wanting to see a stronger economic recovery, despite promising signs. The government has projected growth could accelerate to 7 to 7.5 per cent in 2018/19 after expanding at its slowest in three years. India will next report growth data on Feb. 28.
 
Nonetheless, worries the RBI could soon move to raise rates are likely to persist. The benchmark 10-year bond yield has risen 127 basis points since the central bank last cut its repo rate by 25 bps on Aug. 2.
 
RBI's Patra, after voting for a hike, said inflation would accelerate "well above" the central bank's target until the middle of the year. "A series of rate increases may be warranted to remove excessive accommodation. The time to begin is upon us," he said.
 
RBI Deputy Governor Viral Acharya, who looks after monetary policy, voted to keep rates on hold, calling an economic recovery "nascent and worthy of some support in the short run". But he warned he would consider changing the RBI's stance should inflation accelerate.
 
Source: Business Standard

Add new comment