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RBI may again pause repo rate at this week's policy meet: SBI Research

New Delhi: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is expected to again pause the repo rate, the rate at which the central bank lends money to banks, in its bi-monthly monetary policy to be held this week, SBI Research said in a report.
SBI Research in a report on Sunday said the monetary policy committee will go for a "prolonged pause". A monetary policy committee headed by RBI governor Shaktikanta Das will hold a three-day-long meeting with its decision be announced on June 8 (Thursday).
Besides putting a brake on the interest, the RBI is expected to downgrade inflation projections for 2023-24, according to the research report authored by Soumya Kanti Ghosh, Group Chief Economic Adviser State Bank of India. It said there is also a possibility of a GDP growth upgrade.
Retail inflation is projected to moderate to 5.2 per cent for 2023-24 in India as estimated by RBI in its April monetary policy meeting; with Q1 at 5.1 per cent; Q2 at 5.4 per cent; Q3 at 5.4 per cent; and Q4 at 5.2 per cent.
GDP growth for 2023-24 is projected to be at 6.5 per cent and the SBI Research's expectations for an upgrade may have been prompted by more than estimated GDP growth India registered in 2022-23.
As per the provisional estimates released by the National Statistical Office (NSO) recently, real GDP growth for 2022-23 stood at 7.2 per cent, higher than the 7 per cent projected.
Despite strong global headwinds and tighter domestic monetary policy tightening, various international agencies have forecasted India to be one of the fastest-growing economies in 2023-24, supported by robust growth in private consumption and sustained pick-up in private investment.
In the last policy meeting in April, RBI monetary policy committee unanimously kept the repo rate unchanged at 6.50 per cent.
Repo rates are already up 250 basis points from the lows of May 2022 and a full 135 basis points higher than the pre-pandemic repo rate of 5.15 per cent.
Barring the April pause, the RBI raised the repo rate by 250 basis points cumulatively to 6.5 per cent since May 2022 in the fight against inflation.
Raising interest rates is a monetary policy instrument that typically helps suppress demand in the economy, thereby helping the inflation rate decline. (ANI)

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