Reserve Bank of India Governor Shaktikanta Das on Wednesday said the rupee has witnessed “low volatility” and orderly movements as compared to its peers.
Speaking at the annual FIBAC event, Das said household inflation expectations are becoming more anchored, but added that headline inflation is vulnerable to recurring and overlapping food price shocks.
It can be noted that the rupee closed at an all-time low of 83.35 against the dollar on Monday, but gained some lost ground in Tuesday’s trade.
“On the exchange rate front, the Indian rupee (INR) has exhibited low volatility and orderly movements relative to peers despite elevated US treasury yields and a strong US dollar,” Das said.
He said this is courtesy the strength of the underlying macro-fundamentals of our economy and the reassuring forex buffers.
In the last three or four days, the US DXY (dollar index) has slightly softened and treasury yields in the US have also softened.
Crediting RBI’s rate hikes, liquidity tightening moves and supply-side measures undertaken by the government for the headline consumer price inflation cooling off to 4.9 per cent in October, Das stressed that the RBI is “completely focused” on getting the headline inflation down to 4 per cent.
The monetary policy will be “watchful” about the emerging trends and “actively disinflationary”, Das said, adding that it will be supporting growth as well.
He said the softening in the core inflation gives the RBI the conviction that “monetary policy seems to be working”.
The headline inflation can come under pressure because of “overlapping and continuing shocks from food inflation”, Das said.
He also reiterated the Arjuna analogy to speak about the resolute focus of the central bank on inflation, and also borrowed from the ‘Swayamvar’ scene in the mythological text to say that just like Arjuna focusing on the bird’s eye while calculating the ripples and sound in the room, the central bank also takes into account various other aspects.
Meanwhile, he said household inflation expectations are becoming more anchored and cited recent surveys by the Reserve Bank which illustrate this.
Das, who has been at the helm since 2019, said he has focused on communication to set the expectations of households and ensured that the central bank reaches the last person.
He said the world is grappling with an unending stream of challenges like volatile commodities, uncertainty around monetary policies, geopolitical events and climate shocks since 2020, making it a “complicated and deadly mix of challenges”.
He also pitched for reforms in agri marketing and connected value chains for sustained high grwh, durable price stability and mitigating price shocks.