*** ----> India central bank holds rates as inflation risks linger | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN

India central bank holds rates as inflation risks linger

AFP | Mumbai, India

The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com

India’s central bank kept interest rates unchanged for the eighth time in a row yesterday, as inflation risks continue to linger in the world’s fifth-largest economy.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said its benchmark repo rate, the level at which it lends to commercial banks, would remain steady at 6.50%.

Two major central banks have started bringing down interest rates, including the European Central Bank which on Thursday cut rates for the first time since 2019.

Inflation in India has cooled from its 2022 peak of 7.8% but still remains above the RBI’s four percent target.

RBI governor Shaktikanta Das said the bank “remains vigilant to any upside risks” of inflation, particularly from food prices.

India’s economy grew at a robust 8.2%t in the year to March, with a surging manufacturing sector helping beat government and analyst forecasts.

Interest rates were hiked by 2.5 percentage points between May 2022 and February 2023, but have been unchanged since.

India’s retail inflation came in at 4.83% in April, almost level from the previous month and led mainly by an increase in food prices.

The country’s “core” inflation, which excludes food and fuel costs, remained below 4%.

The International Monetary Fund expects India’s gross domestic product growth to taper slightly to 6.8% in 2024- 25, which will still make it the fastest-growing among large economies, according to forecasts from April.