Mumbai: Reserve Bank on Tuesday kept the key interest rates unchanged but hinted easing of rates in January saying with decline in inflation, the focus of monetary policy would shift to removing impediments to growth.
Overlooking demands of the industry and the bankers, the RBI left the short-term lending (repo) rate and the Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) unchanged at 8 per cent and 4.25 per cent, respectively.
"In view of inflation pressures ebbing, monetary policy has to increasingly shift focus and respond to the threats to growth from this point onwards", RBI Governor D Subbarao said in the mid-quarter monetary policy review.
The RBI is slated to announce the third quarter policy review on January 29. The central bank is closely monitoring the evolving growth -inflation dynamics and would update projections
for 2012-13 in the third quarter review, RBI said.
It said the biggest risk to outlook stems from global politico-economic developments which could delay resolute policy action.
Referring to inflation, it said, while WPI is showing some signs of moderation, retail inflation has continued to remain elevated. "The non-food component of the index also suggested persistent inflationary pressure".
Looking forward, it said, "the emerging patterns reinforce the likelihood of steady moderation in inflation going into 2013-14, though inflation may edge higher over the next two months".