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...While the headline consumer price index (CPI) inflation has gone since the last meeting from 1.46% to 3.36% and core inflation has quickened to 4.6% in August, this was along expected lines, especially as the supportive statistical base effect faded. The slowdown in growth witnessed in Q1 would, however, require a reassessment of the real gross value added (GVA) growth forecast for FY18. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has maintained that at 7.3%. With the economy underperforming in Q1 and with a drag on activity from goods and services tax (GST) implementation having continued in Q2, that forecast would be revised downwards. That in turn will have a bearing on forward guidance on inflation too. The decision to cut or hold rates, among other things, will be dependent on the view the MPC takes on the nature of the slowdown. ...Live Mint on Sept. 28, 2017, 5:48 a.m.
...And, in an important development, the MPC changed its stance to “neutral” from “accommodative”, signalling that current rate cut cycle, which has seen cuts adding up to 1.75% since early 2015, has run its course for now. While this move was not entirely unanticipated, the element of surprise is in the change in stance. The MPC remains in a conservative “wait and watch” mode as it awaits the resolution of uncertainty around the impact of demonetisation on growth and inflation. For instance, the Central Statistics Office’s assessment of GDP for 2016-17 is based on data for the first seven months, and therefore does not fully capture the impact of demonetisation on growth. Similarly, as the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor pointed out in the post policy press conference, the latest reading of CPI inflation for December of 3.4% would have been higher by 1.4%, if perishables like vegetables were excluded. ...Live Mint on Feb. 9, 2017, 2:44 a.m.