RBI maintains status quo; repo rate retained at 6 percent

RBI says India will grow at 6.7% in 2017-18

The Reserve Bank is expected to keep interest rate constant in its upcoming policy decision scheduled on October 4, 2017, according to investment research firm, Edelweiss.

However, bankers are of the view that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) would hold its key repo rate at a seven-year low of 6 percent as inflation has seen witnessed an increase.

Viral V. Acharya and Dr. Urjit R. Patel were in favour of the monetary policy decision, Dr. Ravindra H. Dholakia voted for a policy rate reduction of at least 25 basis points.

While the repo rate stay at 6 per cent, reverse repo rate will also remain unchanged at 5.75 per cent. However, retail inflation rose to a five-month high of 3.36% in August due to costlier vegetables and fruits.

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The RBI said it would thus keep its policy stance at "neutral", even as the central bank is facing pressure from government officials and executives for more rate cuts to prop up an economy growing at its slowest pace in over three years.

A lot of economic analysts and enthusiasts were optimistic for the rate cut under the current monitoring policy review meeting.

"I think inflation is inching up a little and with the USA also tightening liquidity, the probability for a rate cut, is very low".

He went on to add that "In hindsight, if the central bank moves towards the 4 per cent target in January 2018 as was suggested earlier, there would be limited room for rate cut in forthcoming policies".

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Projects inflation at 4.2-4.6 percent in the second half.

India Inc has already made a pitch for rate cut by RBI to perk up economic activity.

Even as core inflation in August rose to 4.6%, a spurt in food and fuel prices pushed wholesale inflation to 3.24 per cent - almost double that of the previous month.

India's factory output grew at a tepid 1.2 percent in July as compared with a fall of 0.1 percent in June, although there were signs that production would have risen in August and September as companies have begun restocking and building fresh inventories after clearing up the stockpile in the previous month ahead of Goods and Services Tax's roll out from July 1.

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Reiterating its August policy, RBI said there are factors that continue to impart upside risks to this baseline inflation trajectory.

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