Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan boosted the repurchase rate by 25 basis points to 7.75 percent yesterday, as predicted by 32 of 42 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. That was the second increase in two months. India’s wholesale prices rose 6.46 percent in September, the most in seven months, while consumer-price gains accelerated to 9.84 percent.
“The RBI remains cautious on the price situation as the inflation uptick of recent months remains beyond its comfort zone,” Barclays Plc analysts including Mumbai-based Siddhartha Sanyal wrote in a report dated yesterday.
The one-year swap, a derivative contract used to guard against fluctuations in funding costs, rose two basis points, or 0.02 percentage point, to 8.42 percent as of 10:25 a.m. in Mumbai, data compiled by Bloomberg show.
The yield on the 7.16 percent government bonds due May 2023 increased one basis point to 8.56 percent, after falling 12 basis points yesterday in the biggest drop in three weeks, according to prices from the central bank’s trading system.
Along with the repo-rate increase, the RBI took steps to ease cash supply in the financial system to support the economy. The authority cut the marginal standing facility rate, charged on cash loans to banks, to 8.75 percent from 9 percent and raised lenders’ borrowing limits using term repurchase contracts. It may increase the repo rate to 8 percent at the next review on Dec. 18, according to Pramerica Asset Managers Pvt. and Crisil Ltd., the local unit of Standard & Poor’s.
“It is important to break the spiral of rising price pressures in order to curb the erosion of financial saving and strengthen the foundations of growth,” RBI’s Rajan said in yesterday’s statement. The policy stance seeks to manage inflation expectations amid weak economic expansion, and the central bank will “closely monitor inflation risk while being mindful of the evolving growth dynamics,” he said.
The RBI said it expects wholesale-price inflation to remain higher than current levels through most of the remainder of the fiscal year ending March 31. It cut its economic growth forecast for the year to 5 percent from 5.5 percent.
To contact the reporter on this story: Shikhar Balwani in Mumbai at firstname.lastname@example.org