Mid-Quarter Monetary Policy Review: June 2011
-Announced on the 16th June 2011 by Dr. D. Subbarao, Governor, Reserve Bank of India
GDP growth decelerated to 7.8 per cent in Q4 of 2010-11 from 8.3 per cent in the previous quarter and 9.4 per cent in the corresponding quarter a year ago. For the year as a whole, GDP growth in 2010-11 was 8.5 per cent. While private consumption was robust, investment activity moderated in Q4 of 2010-11. The Central Statistical Organisation (CSO) released the new series of industrial production with 2004-05 as the base. The new series represents a better coverage of the industrial structure in the country. The trend in industrial production as revealed by the new series is significantly different from that indicated by the old series (base: 1993-94). While the old series suggested a sharp deceleration from 10.4 per cent in the first half of 2010-11 to 5.5 per cent in the second half, the new series suggested broadly the same growth of a little over 8 per cent in both halves of the year. While the y-o-y IIP growth moderated to 6.3 per cent in April 2011, growth in capital goods production at 14.5 per cent was buoyant. During April-May 2011, both exports and imports increased sharply and the trade deficit widened. The progress of south west monsoon 2011 has so far been satisfactory, which augurs well for agricultural production.
Overall, even as there is deceleration in some important sectors, notably interest-sensitive ones such as automobiles, there is no evidence of any sharp or broad-based slowdown. Corporate earnings growth and profit margins in the fourth quarter of 2010-11 were broadly in line with the performance over the past three quarters, suggesting that demand remained steady, and in the face of sharp increases in input costs, pricing power remained intact. Credit grew steadily (see below), while the composite Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) for May 2011 suggests reasonably good conditions.
The headline WPI inflation rate was 9.7 per cent in March 2011. In April 2011, it was 8.7 per cent and rose to 9.1 per cent in May 2011. The numbers for April and May 2011 are as yet provisional and, given the recent pattern, these numbers are likely to be revised upwards. Thus, the headline WPI inflation rate remains elevated, consistent with the projections made in the Annual Policy Statement of May 3. The main drivers of WPI inflation in April-May 2011 were non-food primary articles, fuel group and non-food manufactured products. The consumer price inflation for industrial workers (CPI - IW) rose from 8.8 per cent in March 2011 to 9.4 per cent in April 2011.
Non-food manufactured products inflation was 8.5 per cent in March 2011. Provisional data indicate that it increased from 6.3 per cent in April to 7.3 per cent in May 2011, numbers much above its medium-term trend of 4.0 per cent. This pattern in non-food manufactured products inflation is a matter of particular concern. Besides reflecting high commodity prices, it also suggests more generalised inflationary pressures; rising wages and costs of service inputs are apparently being passed on by producers along the entire supply chain.
Year-on-year non-food credit growth moderated from 21.3 per cent in March 2011 to 20.6 per cent in early June 2011, but remained above the indicative projection of 19 per cent. The y-o-y deposit growth increased to 18.2 per cent in early June 2011 from 17.0 per cent in March 2011. Consequently, the incremental non-food credit-deposit ratio moderated to 80.5 per cent (y-o-y) in early June 2011 from 95.3 per cent in March 2011. The y-o-y increase in money supply (M3) was at 17.3 per cent in early June 2011 as compared with 16.0 per cent in March 2011.
Monetary transmission has been quite strong with 45 scheduled commercial banks raising their Base Rates by 25-100 basis points after the May 3 Policy Statement. Cumulatively, 47 banks raised their Base Rates by 150-300 basis points during July 2010-May 2011. The higher cost of credit is restraining credit growth, but it still remains fairly high, suggesting that economic activity is holding course.
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