'RBI may slash interest rates in August on easing inflationary pressure'
The Reserve Bank is likely to cut key rates by 25 basis points or 0.25 percent in its policy review meeting on August 9, largely owing to benign inflation, low IIP growth and good monsoon forecast, a report says.
New Delhi: The Reserve Bank is likely to cut key rates by 25 basis points or 0.25 percent in its policy review meeting on August 9, largely owing to benign inflation, low IIP growth and good monsoon forecast, a report says.
According to the global financial services major Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BofA-ML), a further easing of 25 bps is likely as CPI inflation came in at a below-expected 4.8 percent for March, and February IIP grew an anemic 2 percent.
"We have grown more confident of our call for the RBI to cut policy rates 25 bps on August 9," it said in a research note.
Earlier this month, RBI reduced its policy rate by 0.25 percent to 6.5 percent -- its lowest level in more than five years.
While this was the first rate cut after a gap of six months, RBI has lowered its rate by 1.5 percent cumulatively since January 2015. However, the industry still wants further rate cuts from RBI to boost investment.
According to the global brokerage firm, CPI should average around 5 percent in this financial year barring extraordinaries like a notional hike in housing price inflation due to the 7th Pay Commission or an arithmetical rise in inflation due to oil price hikes from a low base.
Meanwhile, after three months of contraction February industrial growth printed an anemic 2 percent and is yet to show any sustainable recovery. "We continue to expect the RBI to cut policy rates again on August 9 after March inflation came in at a benign 4.8 percent today,"
BofA-ML said adding that "we expect inflation to average 5 percent in FY17". The RBI on April 5 cut the key interest rate by 0.25 percent and introduced a host of measures to smoothen liquidity supply so that banks can lend to the productive sectors and indicated accommodative stance going ahead.