India’s central bank have lowered their lending rate to 6%

Nepal bank announces ban of Indian notes above Rs 100
FILE- In this Nov. 13, 2016 file photo, an Indian holds 2000 rupee currency notes in Jammu, India. Police say at least one rat slipped through a hole in the back of an ATM in northeastern India and ate more than $19,000 in currency. (AP Photo/Channi Anand, File)

India’s central bank cut its key interest rate by a quarter of a percentage point to 6% on Thursday, moving to prop up economic growth ahead of a national election next week.

The interest rate is what the federal bank charges on lending to commercial banks.

Lower interest rates help borrowers, though they can also spur inflation. The rate cut comes amid a deterioration in the outlook for regional and global growth.

In a bimonthly review of the economy released on Thursday, the Reserve Bank of India cut the retail inflation forecast to 2.9-3% for the first half of this fiscal year. It cited lower food and fuel prices and expectations for a normal rainy season.

In its February policy statement, the RBI had projected retail inflation at between 3.2-3.4%.

FILE – In this Aug. 28, 2014, file photo, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks at the launch of a campaign aimed at opening millions of bank accounts for poor Indians in New Delhi, India. Modi swept 2014 elections promising to reform India‚Äôs economy, but his signature demonetization policy, intended to reduce money laundering, choke terrorist financing and boost digital payments, has been largely deemed a failure. But a standoff with nuclear rival Pakistan appears to have given Modi, the head of India’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party-led government, a boost ahead of national elections set to begin in April, 2019. (AP Photo/Saurabh Das, File)

India’s financial year runs from April-March.

The Reserve Bank of India said in a statement that the economy, which is one of the fastest growing in the world, is facing headwinds, especially on the global front. It lowered its economic growth forecast for 2019-20 to 7.2% from the 7.4% it had estimated in February.

Growth fell to 6.6% in December quarter, the slowest in five quarters.

“The need is to strengthen domestic growth impulses by spurring private investment which has remained sluggish,” the central bank said.