Shaktikanta Das, RBI,
Announcing the bi-monthly monetary policy, RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das said the Monetary Policy Committee unanimously decided to keep the rate unchanged at 6.5 per cent. | File photo

RBI retains FY-24 GDP forecast at 6.5%, raises inflation projection to 5.4%

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The RBI on Thursday (August 10) retained the GDP growth projection for current fiscal year at 6.5 per cent and raised the inflation projection marginally to 5.4 per cent due to spike in vegetable prices, including tomatoes.

Unveiling the bi-monthly monetary policy, RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das said domestic economic activity is maintaining resilience. He also said the recovery in kharif sowing and rural incomes, the buoyancy in services and consumer optimism should support household consumption.

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“Headwinds from weak global demand, volatility in global financial markets, geopolitical tensions and geoeconomic fragmentation, however, pose risks to the outlook,” Das said.

Taking all these factors into consideration, real GDP growth for 2023-24 is projected at 6.5 per cent with Q1 at 8 per cent; Q2 at 6.5 per cent; Q3 at 6.0 per cent; and Q4 at 5.7 per cent. Real GDP growth for Q1 of 2024-25 is projected at 6.6 per cent.

On inflation, the governor said the spike in vegetable prices, led by tomatoes, would exert sizeable upside pressures on the near-term headline inflation trajectory. “This jump is, however, likely to correct with fresh market arrivals,” he said, and added there has been significant improvement in the progress of the monsoon and kharif sowing in July.

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Das, however, added that the impact of the uneven rainfall distribution warrants careful monitoring. Consumer Price Index (CPI) based retail inflation is projected at 5.4 per cent for 2023-24, the governor said. The CPI for Q2 has been projected at 6.2 per cent, Q3 at 5.7 per cent and Q4 at 5.2 per cent, with risks evenly balanced. The retail inflation for Q1 of 2024-25 is projected at 5.2 per cent. Headline CPI inflation picked up from 4.3 per cent in May to 4.8 per cent in June, driven largely by food group dynamics on the back of higher prices of vegetables, eggs, meat, fish, cereals, pulses and spices.

(With inputs from agencies)

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