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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Key rates decision after analysing Inflation problem root - RBI

The Reserve Bank of India's (RBI) monetary stance will depend on whether it perceives inflation as stemming from excessive liquidity or due to supply constraints, the country's top civil servant said.

On Tuesday, Cabinet Secretary K.M. Chandrasekhar allayed concerns of persistently high prices, reiterating the government's forecast of headline inflation easing to 5-6 percent by the end of the year.

India's annual headline inflation stayed above 10 percent for the fifth straight month in June, cementing expectations the RBI will raise interest rates for a second time this month to contain price pressures.

A majority of economists expect the RBI to raise key interest rates by 25 basis points in its quarterly review on July 27 and tighten policy further in coming quarters, a new Reuters poll showed.

"A call will have to be taken by the Reserve Bank (RBI) on whether inflation is on account of high money supply or is it on account of certain sectoral reasons, some supply constraints," Chandrasekhar told a news conference.

Some analysts have pegged capacity constraints in the rapidly expanding economy as the main reason for a surge in non-food inflation, pointing out a slowdown in May industrial output, despite robust domestic consumer demand.

Further, expansion in the M3 money supply, the broadest measure of liquidity in the system, has just picked up after slowing down since the year began and lags credit expansion.