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Another RBI rate hike on cards, warn experts, as inflation sees no ease, states Report

With inflation showing no signs of abatement, the Reserve Bank is likely to increase the benchmark lending rate in quick succession in its forthcoming monetary policy review on Wednesday, a hint for which has already been given by Governor Shaktikanta Das, opined experts.

There are speculations that central bank may go for at least 35 basis points (bps) hike over and above the 40 bps hike effected last month after an off-cycle Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting. Experts are expecting that more hikes in repo rate in the coming months.

Governor Das-headed MPC will meet for three day beginning Monday. The decision taken during the meeting will be announced by the governor on Wednesday.

The retail inflation, which RBI factors in while arriving at its monetary policy, galloped for a seventh straight month to touch an 8-year high of 7.79 per cent in April, mainly on account of surging commodity prices, including fuel, due to ongoing Russia-Ukraine war.

The wholesale price-based inflation has remained in double digits for 13 months and touched a record high of 15.08 per cent in April. Recently in a TV interview, the governor said that the "expectation of rate hike is a no-brainer, there will be some increase in the repo rates, but by how much I will not be able to tell now but to say that 5.15 may not be very accurate".

On expectation from the MPC, Madan Sabnavis, Chief Economist, Bank of Baroda, said the credit policy to be announced will be important from the point of view of not just rate action but also the RBI's thoughts on growth and inflation.

"The increase in repo rate can be taken as almost given but the quantum may not be more than 25-35 bps as the earlier minutes of the meeting held in May indicated that the MPC was not in favour of a large increase in repo rate at one shot," Sabnavis said.

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