Monday, November 7th, 2016

RBI to pause in December, to cut policy rates in February, April: Reports

Narada Desk | November 7, 2016 4:54 pm Print
Inflation will likely slip to 4.1 per cent in October, on course to the RBI’s 5 per cent March-2017 target.
Reserve Bank of India

The Reserve Bank of India is expected to maintain a status quo in the upcoming December meet and will go for a 25 bps rate cut each in its February and April policy review meeting.

In a Bank of America Merrill Lynch report, it has been claimed that the accommodative policy stance of the central bank would be largely driven by weak global growth and the fact that inflation is expected to be on track to its March 2017 target of 5 percent.

“We expect the RBI Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) to pause in December and cut 25 bps each in February and April,” Bank of America Merrill Lynch said in a research note.

According to the global financial services major report, there are ‘five compelling reasons’ for a 50 bps RBI rate cut by April. The most probable reason is that growth is weak at sub-5 per cent in old GDP series (7.1 per cent in new GDP), well below its estimated 7 per cent potential, and secondly, inflation will likely slip to 4.1 per cent in October, on course to the RBI’s 5 per cent March-2017 target.

Amongst others, 50 bps RBI rate cut in early 2017 should send a clear signal to banks to cut lending rates, while, RBI rate cut expectations should support the Indian Rupee (INR) by attracting Foreign Portfolio Investors inflows into bonds and rate sensitives.

Adding to that, the bankruptcy code and Goods and Services Tax (GST) legislation should convince the RBI MPC of the government’s pursuit of reforms.

MPC, which has three members nominated by the government and the rest from RBI, had reportedly lowered the repo rate to 6.25 per cent from 6.50 per cent at the end of two-day deliberations on October 4.

The next meeting of the MPC is scheduled on December 6 and 7.