Chillin' out till it needs to be funded
Even as RBI shows concern about the retail inflation, it has probably factored in the welfare sustenance supply chain requirement that has necessitated a higher tick of Food inflation likely to last till 2015. Even though the jump in core inflation to 2.66% has reached worrying levels, the RGR regime has played it on the level, standing by the current Bank rate at 7.75% . As banks have already moved off the higher MSF lending or the last quarter, banks would anyway be unaffected by the lack of change but the markets can seriously take the impending rally’s mechanics from here .
The FOMC reports later in the India day, closer to midnight when they can , we agree, start with an early taper. However, The Fed meeting is likely to also be a sendoff for Ben Bernanke and so any such major policy announcements may be skipped for Janet Yellen to attend to in February, April or even June 2014 and as the Fed has managed so adroitly, the Taper would not mean tightening. Though the Dollar remains weak, the Taper is unlikely to still avoid the Dollar strengthening into a vise like grip on the US own Economy.
On India’s Policy announcement, the 7.5% mark would have been even better but as noticed concerns on Food and Primary inflation are real and may spill over to Core inflation unless kept in check. The RBI Governor notes that Vegetable prices that jumed 99% in the Friday WPI report may fall sharply.
Yesterday’s Review noted, in the overall scenario
In India, the pick-up in real GDP growth in Q2 of 2013-14, albeit modest, was driven largely by robust growth of agricultural activity, supported by an improvement in net exports. However, the weakness in industrial activity persisting into Q3, still lacklustre lead indicators of services and subdued domestic consumption demand suggest continuing headwinds to growth. Tightening government spending in Q4 to meet budget projections will add to these headwinds. In this context, the revival of stalled investment, especially in the projects cleared by the Cabinet Committee on Investment, will be critical.
Banks have garnered $34 Billion from FCNR Deposits and India’s FX reserves have jumped at a $5 Bln every week from $277 Bln odd at the end of November and now at $291 Bln. RBI continues to flag the negative output gap and even a slowdown in Services
Also factored into the December decision is the virtual shutdown in Spending by the Government from January as revenues remain not so robust, which would strain interbank liquidity (LV?CNBC18)
It is good that RBI has returned to not being overtly reactive to the inflationary economy and GDP in March could have a larger chunk of the good news premium Indian data has been lacking since the year began.