“On the basis of an assessment of the current and evolving macroeconomic situation, it has been decided to keep the policy repo rate under the liquidity adjustment facility (LAF) unchanged at 6.75 per cent,” the RBI statement said.
RBI has also kept the cash reserve ratio (CRR) of scheduled banks unchanged at 4.0 per cent of net demand and time liability (NDTL). It will continue to provide liquidity under overnight repos at 0.25 per cent of bank-wise NDTL at the LAF repo rate and liquidity under 14-day term repos as well as longer term repos of up to 0.75 per cent of NDTL of the banking system through auctions, and continue with daily variable rate repos and reverse repos to smooth liquidity.
Consequently, the reverse repo rate under the LAF will remain unchanged at 5.75 per cent, and the marginal standing facility (MSF) rate and the Bank Rate at 7.75 per cent, RBI said.
In its assessment of the global economic scenario, RBI said that global trade has slowed further since the fourth bi-monthly statement of September 2015, with waning demand and oversupply in several primary commodities and industrial materials. In the United States, inventory accumulation is likely to hold down growth in Q4 of 2015. Industrial production slumped in October on cutbacks in oil drilling, while exports were undermined by the strengthening US dollar. Consumer confidence was, however, supported by the diminishing slack in the labour market. In the Euro area, high frequency indicators such as retail sales, purchasing managers' indices and unemployment point to an uptick in a still anaemic recovery, with monetary policy expected to be increasingly supportive as risks of undershooting the inflation target persist. In China, slowing nominal GDP growth and high debt continue to raise concerns, especially given the overcapacity in certain sectors. Other emerging market economies (EMEs) continue to face headwinds from domestic structural constraints, shrinking trade volumes and depressed commodity prices.
On the domestic front, provisional estimates of gross value added (GVA) at basic prices for Q2 of 2015-16 rose on the back of acceleration in industrial activity. Other indicators suggest the economy is in the early stages of a recovery, though with some areas of continued weakness.
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