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The Reserve Bank of India's (RBI) Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) met this week and delivered a much-anticipated verdict: the repo rate, the benchmark interest rate at which the RBI lends to commercial banks, will remain unchanged at 6.5%. This marks the eighth consecutive time the MPC has opted to hold rates steady, indicating a cautious stance amidst a complex economic environment.

Balancing growth and inflation

The RBI's decision reflects a delicate balancing act between fostering economic growth and curbing inflation. While India's economy has shown impressive resilience, with GDP growth estimated at 6.5% for FY24, inflation remains a concern. Although it has eased slightly to 4.83% in April 2024, it is still above the RBI's target range of 2-6%.

Factors influencing the decision 

Several factors likely influenced the MPC's decision to hold rates:

  • Lingering Inflationary Pressures: Global supply chain disruptions and the ongoing war in Ukraine continue to exert upward pressure on commodity prices, impacting India's import bill and potentially fueling domestic inflation.
  • Geopolitical Uncertainty: The global economic outlook remains clouded by geopolitical tensions, adding another layer of uncertainty to the inflation trajectory.
  • Supporting Growth Momentum: Maintaining a stable interest rate environment can provide some support to ongoing economic activity, particularly for sectors sensitive to interest rate fluctuations like real estate and infrastructure.

What does the RBI repo rate mean to you?

The unchanged repo rate has both potential benefits and drawbacks for various stakeholders:

  • Borrowers: Individuals and businesses seeking loans may continue to benefit from stable borrowing costs. This could be particularly helpful for those looking to invest in homes, cars, or expanding their businesses.
  • Depositors: Interest rates on fixed deposits and savings accounts might not see a significant rise in the near future. However, the stable interest rate environment might also lead to some stability in deposit rates.
  • Investors: Equity markets might react positively to the continued focus on economic growth. However, rising inflation could continue to pose a challenge for some sectors.

Looking ahead

The RBI's next policy statement will be keenly watched for any hints about future rate movements. Here's what we can expect:

  • Inflationary Trajectory: The RBI's future actions will likely depend on the future course of inflation. If inflationary pressures ease and growth momentum weakens, a rate cut could be on the horizon. Conversely, persistently high inflation might necessitate a rate hike.
  • Global Cues: The RBI will also closely monitor global economic developments and monetary policy actions by other major central banks, as these can influence India's financial markets.


The RBI's decision to hold rates reflects a cautious and data-driven approach towards monetary policy. While economic growth remains a priority, curbing inflation is also crucial for long-term financial stability. As the economic landscape evolves, the RBI will likely adjust its policy stance to ensure a balanced and sustainable growth trajectory for the Indian economy.