The Reserve Bank of India headed by a new chief, Shaktikanta Das, will probably drop its hawkish bias on Thursday, the first step toward a possible interest-rate cut this year as inflation drifts lower and the economy slows.
The repurchase rate will probably be kept steady at 6.5 percent, according to 32 of the 43 economists surveyed by Bloomberg as of Wednesday, with the rest expecting a 25 basis-point reduction. Real interest rates in India are among the highest in Asia, and calls for the first cut in the policy rate since August 2017 have been growing.
Das will have an opportunity to lay out his monetary policy outlook at a press briefing scheduled for 12 p.m. in Mumbai, shortly after the rate announcement. A career bureaucrat, Das is seen as more dovish on policy than his predecessor Urjit Patel, who quit in December following attacks on the central bank’s autonomy.