HDFC increases lending rates by 20 basis points after RBI’s hike

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LONDON-The Bank of England raised its benchmark interest rate for only the second time in a decade, as worries over inflation trumped concerns about Brexit and a brewing global trade war.

A Bank rate rise does not guarantee the equivalent increase in interest paid to savers. If interest rates are 1% or more by the time the economy sails into stormier seas, policymakers will at least be able to cut rates a couple of times before cranking up the printing presses for more QE.

The decision of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to increase the repo and reverse repo rates by 25 basis points each will make home loan costlier and negatively impact buyer sentiment at a time the industry is struggling to recover from sluggish sales, the real estate industry said on Wednesday.

It also fleshed out its thinking on how far it is likely to go with its planned rate hikes by publishing a new long-term forecast for what it called Britain's trend real interest rate, or "R*", of zero to 1 percent, more than 2 percentage points below its pre-financial crisis level. "Three MPC members had dissented at the last BoE meeting, including Chief Economist Andrew Haldane, and key data releases since June, such as a healthy labour market report, will have strengthened the resolve of other Committee members".

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The interest rate rise will increase the cost of around 3.7 million residential mortgages that have variable or tracker rates.

The pound made gains versus the euro following the rate increase up by almost 0.3 per cent at 1.128, but was still trading lower by around 0.1 per cent against the United States dollar at 1.311.

Five of the six members on the rate panel voted for a rate increase.

The BOE predicted steady if unspectacular growth in the U.K.in the coming years and signaled that it anticipates that it can keep a lid on inflation with only one or two more quarter-point rate increases through mid-2021.

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The majority of mortgage-holders, who have fixed rates, will not see a difference. For the July-September quarter, RBI pegged CPI-based retail inflation at 4.2 per cent which it sees firming up further to 4.8 per cent in the second half of the current fiscal. "Actual inflation outcomes have been slightly below the projected trajectory as the seasonal summer surge in vegetable prices has remained somewhat muted in comparison with its past behaviour and fruits prices have declined", it said.

The BoE said it expected Britain's economy would grow by 1.4 percent this year, unchanged from its forecast in May, but it nudged up its forecast for growth in 2019 to 1.8 percent from a previous projection of 1.7 percent. He said the rate hike came on the heels of a meeting with Union Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Puri to discuss measures to put real estate sector "back on track". The mistake they made was cutting rates in response to the Brexit vote.

"Although underlying tone of RBI statement appeared balanced, inflationary risks and outlook highlighted by the central bank indicates hawkishness".

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