Annual Policy Statement for the Year 2010-11- 20th April 2010
Part A. Monetary Policy
II. Outlook and Projections
33. During 2009-10, money supply (M3) growth decelerated from over 20.0 per cent at the beginning of the financial year to 16.4 per cent in February 2010 before increasing to 16.8 per cent by March 2010, slightly above the Reserve Bank’s indicative projection of 16.5 per cent. This was reflected in non-food credit growth of 16.9 per cent, above the indicative projection of 16.0 per cent.
34. Keeping in view the need to balance the resource demand to meet credit offtake by the private sector and government borrowings, monetary projections have been made consistent with the growth and inflation outlook. For policy purposes, M3 growth for 2010-11 is placed at 17.0 per cent. Consistent with this, aggregate deposits of SCBs are projected to grow by 18.0 per cent. The growth in non-food credit of SCBs is placed at 20.0 per cent. As always, these numbers are provided as indicative projections and not as targets.
35. While the indicative projections of growth and inflation for 2010-11 may appear reassuring, the following major downside risks to growth and upside risks to inflation need to be recognised:
First, uncertainty persists about the pace and shape of global recovery. Fiscal stimulus measures played a major role in the recovery process in many countries by compensating for the fall in private demand. Private demand in major advanced economies continues to be weak due to high unemployment rates, weak income growth and tight credit conditions. There is a risk that once the impact of public spending wanes, the recovery process will be stalled. Therefore, the prospects of sustaining the recovery hinge strongly on the revival of private consumption and investment. While recovery in India is expected to be driven predominantly by domestic demand, significant trade, financial and sentiment linkages indicate that a sluggish and uncertain global environment can adversely impact the Indian economy.
Second, if the global recovery does gain momentum, commodity and energy prices, which have been on the rise during the last one year, may harden further. Increase in global commodity prices could, therefore, add to inflationary pressures.
Third, from the perspective of both domestic demand and inflation management, the 2010 south-west monsoon is a critical factor. The current assessment of softening of domestic inflation around mid-2010 is contingent on a normal monsoon and moderation in food prices. Any unfavourable pattern in spatial and temporal distribution of rainfall could exacerbate food inflation. In the current context, an unfavourable monsoon could also impose a fiscal burden and dampen rural consumer and investment demand.
Fourth, it is unlikely that the large monetary expansion in advanced economies will be unwound in the near future. Accommodative monetary policies in the advanced economies, coupled with better growth prospects in EMEs including India, are expected to trigger large capital flows into the EMEs. While the absorptive capacity of the Indian economy has been increasing, excessive flows pose a challenge for exchange rate and monetary management. The rupee has appreciated sharply in real terms over the past one year. Pressures from higher capital flows combined with the prevailing rate of inflation will only reinforce that tendency. Both exporters, whose prospects are just beginning to turn, and producers, who compete with imports in domestic markets, are getting increasingly concerned about the external sector dynamics.
36. Our exchange rate policy is not guided by a fixed or pre-announced target or band. Our policy has been to retain the flexibility to intervene in the market to manage excessive volatility and disruptions to the macroeconomic situation. Recent experience has underscored the issue of large and often volatile capital flows influencing exchange rate movements against the grain of economic fundamentals and current account balances. There is, therefore, a need to be vigilant against the build-up of sharp and volatile exchange rate movements and its potentially harmful impact on the real economy.
37. The resumption of the process of fiscal consolidation has been a significant positive development. This will help avoid crowding out of private sector credit demand and facilitate better monetary management. However, the overall size of the government borrowing programme is still very large and can exert pressure on interest rates. Going forward, fiscal consolidation has to shift from one-off gains to structural improvements on both tax and expenditure sides, and focus increasingly on the quality of fiscal consolidation.
>> GO TO PAGE 1
Click Here For Highlights of Annual Policy Statement for the Year 2010-11
Click Here For Macro economic and Monetary Developments : 2009-10