Reserve Bank remains focused on bringing back retail inflation to 4%
The Reserve Bank remains focused on bringing back retail inflation to 4 per cent over a period of time in a non-disruptive manner, governor Shaktikanta Das stressed while voting for status quo in interest rates, according to minutes of the October policy meeting released on Friday.
The central bank has been mandated by the government to ensure the Consumer Price Index (CPI) based inflation is at 4 per cent, with a band of 2 per cent on either side.
Retail inflation, which was above 6 per cent during May and June, has started moving down and stood at 4.35 per cent in September.
According to the minutes of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting held during October 6 to 8, Das said in its August 2021 meeting, the panel was faced with the challenges posed by headline inflation exceeding the upper tolerance threshold for the second successive month.
The actual inflation outcomes for July-August have vindicated the MPC’s outlook and monetary policy stance, he noted.
The more-than-expected softening of inflation in July and August this year was underpinned by the significant lowering in food price momentum, especially in August.
Going forward, the governor said if there are no spells of unseasonal rains, food inflation is likely to register significant moderation in the immediate term, aided by record kharif production, more than adequate food stocks, supply-side measures and favourable base effects.
“Volatile crude prices, particularly the resurgence since mid-September, is pushing pump prices to new highs, raising risk of spillover of high transportation cost into retail prices of goods and services.”