Mid-Quarter Monetary Policy Review: September 2011
-Announced on the 16th September 2011 by Dr. D. Subbarao, Governor, Reserve Bank of India
To sum up, developments in the global economy over the past few weeks are a matter of serious concern. Growth momentum is weakening in the advanced economies amidst heightened concerns that recovery may take longer than expected earlier. Although India's exports have performed extremely well in the recent period, this trend is unlikely to be sustained in the face of weakening global demand. This, combined with the slowing down of domestic demand, to which the monetary policy stance is also contributing, suggests that risks to the growth projection for 2011-12 made in the July Review are on the downside.
Meanwhile, inflation remains high, generalised and much above the comfort zone of the Reserve Bank. After slight moderation in July, non-food manufactured products inflation rose again in August, suggesting continuing demand pressures. Global crude oil prices have remained elevated despite weakening of global recovery. Moreover, there is still an element of suppressed inflation. Though global oil prices have moderated, the pass-through to domestic prices remains incomplete. Also, current administered electricity prices are yet to reflect increase in input prices, even as many states have initiated increases. Food inflation is at near-double digit levels, despite normal monsoons, underlining the fact that it is being driven by structural demand-supply imbalances and cannot be dismissed as a temporary phenomenon. The inflation momentum, reflected in the de-seasonalised sequential monthly data, persists.
The policy action in this Review is expected to:
reinforce the impact of past policy actions to contain inflation and anchor inflationary expectations.
The monetary tightening effected so far by the Reserve Bank has helped in containing inflation and anchoring inflationary expectations, though both remain at levels beyond the Reserve Bank’s comfort zone. As monetary policy operates with a lag, the cumulative impact of policy actions should now be increasingly felt in further moderation in demand and reversal of the inflation trajectory towards the later part of 2011-12.
As such, a premature change in the policy stance could harden inflationary expectations, thereby diluting the impact of past policy actions. It is, therefore, imperative to persist with the current anti-inflationary stance. Going forward, the stance will be influenced by signs of downward movement in the inflation trajectory, to which the moderation in demand is expected to contribute, and the implications of global developments.
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