Inflation Expected To Come Down Over The Year: RBI MPC Member Ashima Goyal | Economy News


New Delhi: Inflation is expected to come down over the year, RBI Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) member Ashima Goyal said on Sunday, asserting that the government’s supply-side action coordinated with a flexible inflation-targeting regime has kept the rate of price rise lower than that in other countries. Goyal said that India has successfully dealt with ‘pluri-shocks’ over the past three years, showing considerable resilience.\

“Inflation rates are expected to come down over the year. “Government supply-side action coordinated with a flexible inflation targeting regime has kept Indian inflation rates lower than other countries and our own past averages even in this period of major adverse external supply shocks,” she told PTI in a telephonic interview. (Also Read: Latest FD Rates 2023: HDFC vs ICICI vs Axis Bank Fixed Deposit Rates Compared)

She was asked whether high inflation become the norm in India. “Since nominal policy rates rise with inflation to maintain an expected real positive rate under inflation targeting this prevents demand over-heating and anchors inflation expectations,” she noted. (Also Read: Biryani ATM: Chennai-Based Start-Up Launches India’s First Biryani Takeout Outlet)

Goyal said policy rates had been cut steeply during the pandemic, so they had to be raised fast after recovery was established. “But policy rates must not rise too much at present because of slowing external demand. Domestic demand must be allowed to compensate,” she emphasised.

According to Goyal, as long as the expected future real policy rate does not rise much above unity, RBI is not over-tightening. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has raised its benchmark repo rate by 250 basis points since May last year with expectations of another 25 basis points hike to 6.75 percent in April before hitting pause until year-end.

The RBI lowered the consumer price inflation (CPI) forecast to 6.5 percent for the current fiscal from 6.7 percent. India’s retail inflation in January was 6.52 percent.

To a question on what would be the likely impact of hot weather on wheat crops and food inflation, Goyal said weather patterns have become erratic, so it is necessary to build resilience in agriculture –for example, through more diverse cropping patterns and planting hardier crops.

That the winter vegetable crop was excellent despite protracted rains, suggests this may already be happening, she opined. Noting that international wheat prices have also fallen, Goyal said, “So import, use of buffer stocks, etc are part of many tools available to manage any potential food inflation.”

Replying to a question on India’s current macroeconomic situation, she said the country has successfully dealt with ‘pluri-shocks’ over the past three years, showing considerable resilience. “The four principles that worked for India are BCCR: balance, countercyclical smoothing, coordination, and reform,” she opined.

Goyal said the key to India’s outperformance was continual structural reforms that balanced supply and demand side support as appropriate, countercyclical policies that smoothed external shocks, and good coordination between monetary and fiscal policies.


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