RBI may cut repo rate by 25 basis points: Analysts

The Reserve Bank will announce its second bi-monthly monetary policy for the current fiscal on June 6. This will be the first policy meet of the central bank after the Lok Sabha elections 2019.

Published: 31st May 2019 04:09 PM  |   Last Updated: 31st May 2019 04:09 PM   |  A+A-

The logo of RBI is seen outside its Bengaluru office

The logo of RBI is seen outside its Bengaluru office (EPS| Debdutta Mitra)

By PTI

MUMBAI: With economic growth likely to slow down in the March quarter 2019, the RBI may cut repo rate by 25 basis points in the upcoming monetary policy review, analysts say.

The growth data for the fourth quarter 2018-19 is to be released Friday. According to a DBS Group Research report, the economic growth is likely to moderate to 6.1 per cent, slowest in over seven quarters, from 6.6 per cent last year same period.

The gross value-added growth is likely to ease to 6 per cent from 6.3 per cent in the previous quarter, it said.

The Reserve Bank will announce its second bi-monthly monetary policy for the current fiscal on June 6. This will be the first policy meet of the central bank after the Lok Sabha elections 2019.

"Close on the heels of the GDP outcome, the RBI policy committee will decide on rates on June 6. We look for 25 basis points cut in the repo rate to 5.75 per cent, taking cumulative cuts in 2019 to 75 basis points," the DBS Research report said.

In 2019, the RBI cut repo rate by 25 basis points each in its February and April monetary policy reviews.

Earlier this week, SBI's economic research department in its report Ecowrap said it expects GDP growth for March quarter at 6.1 per cent and GVA growth at 6 per cent or slip marginally below 6 per cent at 5.9 per cent.

It sees 2018-19 GDP growth at 6.9 per cent. The report said due to the expected slowdown it expects a larger rate cut of 35-50 basis points by the RBI in the forthcoming policy.

"RBI could use the rate change in non-multiples of 25 basis points in June policy as a first step towards providing second generation signals to market of future policy stance," Ecowrap report said.

Kotak Mahindra Bank's president (consumer banking), Shanti Ekambaram said with the elections resulting in a decisive mandate, the attention will now shift to policy - both fiscal and monetary - with the key aim of spurring growth, boosting the slowing consumption and attracting private investment.

"One can expect both liquidity measures and a rate cut. Rate cut expectation ranges from 25-50 bps," Ekambaram said.

She said the RBI will see how the fiscal situation unfolds with the budget announcement and spending measures.

It will also take into account global factors, trade tensions, crude price trends, geopolitical equations and the monsoon outlook, she added.

Rating agency Icra, however, expects the monetary policy committee (MPC) to maintain a status quo on June 6 as it would adopt a wait and watch approach and look for the fiscal policies announced during the Union Budget in July 2019.

MPC has already done consecutive rate cuts in its previous policy meetings and the benefit of those cuts by way of lower lending rates or improved credit growth are yet to become visible, it added.

The agency said spurring up the domestic consumption will remain an area of focus, and it expects RBI to address by statements on improving the liquidity conditions.

"Such measures can improve the transmission of previous policy cuts in lending rates of banks, rather than another cut in repo rate, which may not necessarily result in lower lending rates of banks and demand growth," the rating agency said.

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