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Macroeconomic and Monetary Developments Third Quarter Review 2008-09 -Announced on January 26, 2009

The Reserve Bank has released the document “Macroeconomic and Monetary Developments Third Quarter Review 2008-09” to serve as a backdrop to the Third Quarter Review of Monetary Policy 2008-09.

The highlights of macroeconomic and monetary developments during 2008-09 so far are:

The External Economy

India’s balance of payments position during the first half of 2008-09 (April-September) reflected a widening of trade deficit resulting in large current account deficit, and moderation in capital flows. Merchandise trade deficit recorded a sharp increase during April-November 2008 on account of higher crude oil prices for most of the period and loss of momentum in exports since September 2008. Net surplus under invisibles remained buoyant, led by increase in software exports and private transfers. Net capital inflows reduced sharply and have remained volatile during 2008-09 so far.

The large increase in merchandise trade deficit during April-September 2008 led to a significant increase in the current account deficit over its level during April-September 2007. The widening of trade deficit during April-September 2008 could be attributed to higher import payments reflecting high international commodity prices, particularly crude oil prices.

The surplus in the capital account moderated during April-September 2008 reflecting increased gross capital outflows on the back of global financial turmoil. While the net inward FDI (net direct investment by foreign investors) remained buoyant reflecting relatively strong fundamentals of the Indian economy and continuing liberalisation measures to attract FDI, net outward FDI (net direct investment by Indian investors abroad) also remained high during April-September 2008. The gross capital inflows were higher on account of higher FDI inflows and NRI deposits during the period.

In terms of residual maturity, the revised short-term debt (below one year) comprising sovereign debt, commercial borrowings, NRI deposits, short-term trade credit and others maturing up to March 2009, was estimated at around US $ 85 billion as at end-March 2008.

According to the provisional data released by DGCI&S, India’s merchandise exports during April-November 2008 increased by 18.7 per cent while imports recorded a higher growth of 32.5 per cent, largely due to the rise in petroleum, oil and lubricants (POL) imports. The rise in oil imports was primarily due to the elevated international crude oil prices, while the volume of oil imports moderated. Merchandise trade deficit during April-November 2008 widened to US $ 84.4 billion from US $ 53.2 billion a year ago.

As of January 16, 2009, foreign exchange reserves at US $ 252.2 billion declined by US $ 57.5 billion over the level at end-March 2008, including changes due to valuation losses.

Monetary Conditions

Monetary and liquidity aggregates that expanded at a strong pace during the first half of 2008-09 showed some moderation during the third quarter reflecting the decline in capital flows and consequent foreign exchange intervention by the Reserve Bank.

Growth in broad money (M3), year-on-year (y-o-y), was 19.6 per cent (Rs. 7,36,777 crore) on January 2, 2009 lower than 22.6 per cent (Rs. 6,91,768 crore) a year ago. Aggregate deposits of banks, y-o-y, expanded 20.2 per cent (Rs.6,49,152 crore) on January 2, 2009 as compared with 24.0 per cent (Rs. 6,21,944 crore) a year ago.

The growth in bank credit continued to remain high. Non-food credit by scheduled commercial banks (SCBs) was 23.9 per cent (Rs.5,01,645 crore), y-o-y, as on January 2, 2009 from 22.0 per cent (Rs.3,79,655 crore) a year ago.

The intensification of global financial turmoil and its knock-on effect on the domestic financial market, and downturn in headline inflation, necessitated the Reserve Bank to ease its monetary policy since mid-September 2008.

Reserve money growth at 6.6 per cent, y-o-y, as on January 16, 2009 was much lower than that of 30.6 per cent a year ago. Adjusted for the first round effect of the changes in CRR, reserve money growth was 18.0 per cent as compared with 21.6 per cent a year ago.



Click Here For Third Quarter Review of Monetary Policy 2008-09

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