The Reserve Bank of India's monetary policy committee kept interest rates steady at record lows on Friday, as widely expected, and reiterated the need to unwind pandemic-era stimulus only gradually to aid the nascent economic recovery.
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RBI's key lending rate or the repo rate was held steady at 4per cent while the reverse repo rate or the borrowing rate also stayed unchanged at 3.35per cent.
All 60 economists polled by Reuters had said they expected no change in rates which have been kept steady since May last year.
"Overall, aggregate demand is improving but slack still remains; output is still below pre-pandemic levels and the recovery remains uneven and dependent upon continued policy support," Governor Shaktikanta Das said after the decision.
The RBI lowered its full year 2021/22 retail inflation projection to 5.3per cent from 5.7per cent, saying the inflation trajectory has turned out to be more favourable than expected. But it maintained its full-year economic growth forecast at 9.5per cent.
Economists polled by Reuters this week said India's economic recovery from pandemic-related shutdowns is at risk of a further delay in the second half of this fiscal year.
RBI has slashed the repo rate by a total of 115 basis points (bps) since March 2020 to soften the blow from the health crisis and tough containment measures. This follows 135 bps worth of rate cuts since the beginning of 2019.