The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) was expected to stay hawkish to tackle elevated inflation, the survey of top independent economists
The Indian economy is expected to expand 7 per cent in fiscal 2022/23, slower than a previous estimate of 7.4 per cent and the central bank’s 7.2 per cent projection, according to a survey by India’s leading industry body. The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry’s (FICCI) quarterly survey, released on Thursday, said the war in Ukraine is likely to keep inflation high and dent consumer demand.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) was expected to stay hawkish to tackle elevated inflation, the survey of top independent economists, showed. “CPI is anticipated to remain above the RBI’s tolerance band till the third quarter of FY2022-23 and may come within the tolerance level only after the fourth quarter,” the FICCI said in a press statement.
Annual consumer inflation has remained above the RBI’s 2%-6% tolerance band for six straight months to June, prompting economists in the survey to predict the RBI will hike the repo rate further to 5.65% by the end of the fiscal year in March 2023. Most market participants expect the RBI to raise the repo rate by 50 basis points at its next policy review on Aug. 4, following a similar-sized hike to 4.90% last month.
“Major risks to India’s economic recovery include rising commodity prices, supply-side disruptions, bleak global growth prospects with the conflict prolonging in Europe,” the industry body said. A slowdown in China, one of India’s biggest trade partners, would likely hurt exports and emerge as a crucial headwind, it added. Morgan Stanley also lowered its forecast for India’s fiscal 2022/23 growth to 7.2 per cent from 7.6 per cent earlier this week, citing weakening global trade.