India central bank leaves interest rates unchanged

MUMBAI, April 1 Tue Apr 1, 2014 1:33am EDT

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MUMBAI, April 1 (Reuters) - The Reserve Bank of India on Tuesday left its policy interest rate unchanged, as expected, and said it does not expect further near-term policy tightening if headline inflation continues to ease towards the bank's targeted level.

The RBI kept its key repo rate at 8.00 percent, in line with the forecast of all 53 economists in a Reuters poll last week. Since taking office in September, RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan has raised the repo rate three times by a total of 75 basis points.

India's consumer price index inflation eased to 8.10 percent in February, near the RBI's January 2015 target of 8 percent, while the wholesale price index slowed to a 9-month low of 4.68 percent. The RBI wants CPI inflation to ease further to 6 percent by January 2016.

"If inflation continues along the intended glide path, further policy tightening in the near term is not anticipated at this juncture," Rajan said in his policy statement. (Reporting by Suvashree Dey Choudhury and Tony Munroe)

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