RBI Governor Says 5% GDP Growth a ‘Surprise’, Had Projected 5.8%
RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das on Monday, 16 September, termed the low GDP growth of 5 percent as a "surprise" but expressed confidence that the economy will look up with a host of measures taken by the government.
He further said that the RBI has been cutting rates to give a boost to the economy as slowdown was visible for past few months. The RBI slashed benchmark interest rate four times consecutively since January 2019. The central bank reduced the repo (short term lending) rate by 1.10 percentage points during the year.
"I think almost everybody had projected not below 5.5 per cent or so, but the number 5 per cent is a surprise," he said.
He also said the second quarter growth of all advanced economies was lower than the first quarter so there is a deceleration.
Asked when will the economy see revival, Das said it is difficult to make an estimate as there are many things which are still playing out.
"Now for example the Saudi oil crisis it was something totally unanticipated. The trade issue between two largest economies some statements here it appears that they are going on the brink but then they pull back...so much of uncertainty happening all around," he said.
How various factors play out in the second quarter, the RBI will analyse and make assessment, he added.
‘Things Should Improve’
The RBI governor however said that the measures undertaken should give positive results.
"I think with right measures taken, things should improve. It's a positive trend that the government is responding very fast and I don't think we have heard the last from the government with regard to dealing with the current economic situation ... My expectation is that it will be a continuous process and they would definitely be dealing with other challenges," he told news channels.
With regard to structural reforms, he said the RBI has already pointed out in its annual report.
"I think one major thing would be agriculture marketing. Definitely, I would expect some action from the government with regard to reforms in agricultural marketing," he said.
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