RBI’s rate cut comes as pre-election stimulus for Modi govt

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After leaving its benchmark interest rate unchanged at 0.75 percent, as widely expected, the BoE announced on Thursday it had slashed its forecast for United Kingdom economic growth for 2019 from 1.7 percent to just 1.2 percent-a level not seen since the financial crisis a decade ago.

This shock downgrade compares with 1.7 percent predicted in November, while the Bank has also cut its outlook for 2020 to 1.5 percent.

Ricky Knox, CEO of Tandem Bank, says, "Irrespective of whether we have a no-deal Brexit, the United Kingdom economy is slowing, just look at the problems with British auto manufacturing".

Mr Carney said: "When the economy is growing more slowly, the probability of it having a negative quarter or two goes up".

The European Union and Britain agreed to hold further talks to try and save their Brexit deal, after May met European Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker in Brussels on Thursday.

Mumbai: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Thursday unexpectedly lowered interest rates and as anticipated, shifted its stance to "neutral" from "calibrated tightening" to boost a slowing economy after a sharp fall in the inflation rate.

"Taking into consideration these developments and assuming a normal monsoon in 2019, the path of CPI inflation is revised downwards to 2.8 per cent in Q4:2018-19, 3.2-3.4 per cent in H1:2019-20 and 3.9 per cent in Q3:2019-20, with risks broadly balanced around the central trajectory", RBI said.

That revision marks the most important reduce of its development forecasts for a reason that interval instantly after the Brexit referendum in 2016. United Kingdom officials noted the impact of China's slowdown and said trade wasn't contributing as much to growth as they expected.

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Sterling tumbled on the news and was trading 0.6 per cent down versus the U.S. dollar at 1.285.

With Brexit uncertainty wreaking havoc on the economy, that will be the lowest annual rate of growth since 2009.

Mr Carney said a rapid easing of uncertainty could potentially boost growth by around 0.5 percentage points a year over the next three years.

But it said the hit was expected to be "prove only temporary", with a recovery in expansion later in 2019 - though this is based on a Brexit deal being reached by March 29.

The MPC announced on Thursday that it had trimmed its economic growth forecast to 7.2-7.4 percent for the period from April-September this year from its previous 7.5 percent estimate.

In its minutes, the Bank continued to stress that interest rate rises were likely to be needed "at a gradual and to a limited extent" to bring inflation back to target by 2022. If, as much of the market expects, data out of the world's largest economy begins to turn south, we could see the EUR/USD rate retrace some of its losses in the coming sessions.

The market experienced a slowdown in inflation which fell to an 18-month low of 2.19 percent last December, the report added.