On the basis of an assessment of the current and evolving macroeconomic situation, the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) at its meeting today (August 6, 2020) has decided to
- Keep the policy repo rate under the liquidity adjustment facility (LAF) unchanged at 4.0 per cent. Consequently, the reverse repo rate under the LAF remains unchanged at 3.35 percent and the marginal standing facility (MSF) rate and the Bank Rate at 4.25 percent.
- The MPC also decided to continue with the accommodative stance as long as it is necessary to revive growth and mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on the economy, while ensuring that inflation remains within the target going forward.
The Highlights of press release:
- Since the MPC met in May 2020, global economic activity has remained fragile and in retrenchment in several geographies. Contractions in economic activity have been more severe in Q2:2020 than in Q1, and the near-term outlook points to a slow, uneven and hesitant recovery pushed into the second half of the year, with risks steeply slanted to the downside. Among advanced economies (AEs), output in the US and the Euro area underwent a deeper contraction in Q2:2020 than in the preceding quarter. Emerging market economies (EMEs) are expected to shrink in Q2 as reflected in high frequency indicators.
- Global financial markets have rebounded since end-March 2020 with intermittent pauses, shrugging off the volatility and sharp correction recorded in Q1:2020.
- Crude oil prices have remained supported on supply cuts by oil producing countries (OPEC plus) and improved demand prospects on the gradual easing of lockdown restrictions since May. Gold prices have rallied to an all-time high on August 5 on the back of safe haven demand
- On the domestic front, economic activity had started to recover from the lows of April-May following the uneven re-opening of some parts of the country in June; however, surges of fresh infections have forced re-clamping of lockdowns in several cities and states. Consequently, several high frequency indicators have levelled off.
- The agricultural sector has emerged as a bright spot.
- All manufacturing sub-sectors, except pharmaceuticals, remained in negative territory. The output of core industries in June contracted for the fourth successive month though with a considerable moderation
- Services sector activity for May-June indicate signs of a modest resumption of economic activity, especially in rural areas.
- On the other hand, domestic air passenger traffic and cargo traffic continued to post sharp contraction. Construction activity remained tepid – cement production fell and finished steel consumption moderated sharply in June. Imports of capital goods – a key indicator of investment activity – declined further in June.
- Domestic financial conditions have eased substantially and systemic liquidity remains in large surplus, due to the conventional and unconventional measures by the Reserve Bank since February 2020.
- India's merchandise exports contracted for the fourth successive month in June 2020, although the pace of fall moderated on improving shipments of agriculture and pharmaceutical products. Imports fell sharply in June in a broad-based manner, reflecting weak domestic demand and low international crude oil prices.
- Supply chain disruptions on account of COVID-19 persist, with implications for both food and non-food prices.
- The recovery in the rural economy is expected to be robust, buoyed by the progress in kharif sowing. On the other hand, consumer confidence turned more pessimistic in July
- For the year 2020-21, as a whole, real GDP growth is expected to be negative. An early containment of the COVID-19 pandemic may impart an upside to the outlook. A more protracted spread of the pandemic, deviations from the forecast of a normal monsoon and global financial market volatility are the key downside risks.
- Economy is experiencing unprecedented stress in an austere global environment. Extreme uncertainty characterises the outlook, which is heavily contingent upon the intensity, spread and duration of the pandemic – particularly the heightened risks associated with a second wave of infections – and the discovery of the vaccine.
- In these conditions, supporting the recovery of the economy assumes primacy in the conduct of monetary policy. In pursuit of this objective, the stance of monetary policy remains accommodative as long as it is necessary to revive growth and mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on the economy.
- Meanwhile, the cumulative reduction of 250 basis points since February 2019 is working its way through the economy, lowering interest rates in money, bond and credit markets, and narrowing down spreads. Financing conditions have eased considerably, enabling financial flows via financial markets, especially at a time when banks remain highly risk averse. Accordingly, the MPC decides to stay on hold with regard to the policy rate
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Source: icegate portal
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