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Mid Quarter Monetary Policy Review by Reserve Bank
16
Dec '11
Reserve Bank announces Mid Quarter Monetary Policy Review.

Monetary Measures
On the basis of the current macroeconomic assessment, it has been decided to:
- keep the cash reserve ratio (CRR) unchanged at 6 per cent; and
- keep the policy repo rate under the liquidity adjustment facility (LAF) unchanged at 8.5 per cent.

Consequently, the reverse repo rate under the LAF will remain unchanged at 7.5 per cent and the marginal standing facility (MSF) rate at 9.5 per cent.

Introduction
Since the Reserve Bank's Second Quarter Review (SQR) of October 25, 2011, the global economic outlook has worsened significantly. The recent European Union (EU) summit agreement did not assuage negative market sentiments, thereby increasing the likelihood of persistent financial turbulence as well as a recession in Europe. Both factors pose threats to emerging market economies (EMEs), including India. Significantly, despite these developments, crude oil prices remain elevated.

On the domestic front, growth is clearly decelerating. This reflects the combined impact of several factors: the uncertain global environment, the cumulative impact of past monetary policy tightening and domestic policy uncertainties.

Both inflation and inflation expectations are currently above the comfort level of the Reserve Bank. However, reassuringly, inflationary pressures are expected to abate in the coming months despite high crude oil prices and rupee depreciation. The growth deceleration is contributing to a decline in inflation momentum, which is also being helped by softening food inflation.

Global Economy
The global economic situation continues to be fragile with no credible solution as yet to the immediate euro area sovereign debt problem. At the EU summit on December 8-9, the European leaders agreed on a new fiscal compact, involving stronger coordination of economic policies to strengthen fiscal discipline. While the agreement is necessary for medium and long-term sustainability of the euro area, its ability to resolve short-term funding pressures was questioned by markets. Q3 euro area growth, at 0.8 per cent, was anaemic and 2012 growth is now expected to be weaker than earlier projected. Reflecting these projections, the European Central Bank (ECB) cut its policy rate twice in the last two months, and also implemented some non-standard measures. By contrast, growth in the US in Q3 of 2011 was better than in Q2, although still substantially below trend.

Growth in EMEs is also moderating on account of sluggish growth in advanced economies and the impact of monetary tightening to contain inflation. In view of the slowing down of their economies, Brazil, Indonesia, Israel and Thailand cut their policy rates, while China cut its reserve requirements. EME currencies have also come under varying degrees of downward pressure as a result of global risk aversion and financial stress emanating from the euro area.

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Reserve Bank of India

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