Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) is an economic indicator that measures the percentage of a bank's deposits that must be held as cash and kept with the central bank. In other words, CRR is the amount of money that the banks are legally required to keep in reserve from the total deposits they receive. It is a monetary policy tool used by central banks to control the money supply in the economy and influence the lending rates of commercial banks.
CRR helps to ensure the stability of the financial system by preventing commercial banks from becoming insolvent. It is a way of regulating the amount of money that can be lent out by commercial banks at any given time. By setting a CRR, the central bank manages to control the liquidity in the economy and keeps inflation in check.
For example, if the central bank wants to increase the money supply in the economy, it might lower the CRR. This would mean that commercial banks would have more money to lend out, which could lead to increased spending, investment, and economic growth. Conversely, if the central bank wants to reduce the money supply in the economy, it might increase the CRR, thus reducing the lending capacity of the commercial banks, leading to a drop in spending and investment and can lead to a slowdown in the economy.
The CRR has a direct impact on interest rates. When the Central bank increases the CRR, commercial banks have less money to lend out, which leads to an increase in the interest rates. Higher interest rates discourage borrowing, leading to a contraction in spending and, in turn, economic activity. On the other hand, reducing the CRR means that commercial banks have more money to lend, leading to a decrease in lending rates, making borrowing more accessible and stimulating economic activity.
Overall, the Cash Reserve Ratio is an essential tool that central banks use to manage the money supply in the economy and regulate inflation. By setting a CRR, the central bank can control the lending capacity of banks, influencing the interest rates, and, in turn, the overall level of spending and investment in the economy. While CRR has its share of advantages and disadvantages, a judicious policy of CRR adjustments can be an effective way of promoting economic stability and growth.