UPDATE 1-India cbank chief: no single data point to decide next policy move

Last Updated: Fri, Nov 15, 2013 12:20 hrs

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By Suvashree Dey Choudhury

MUMBAI, Nov 15 (Reuters) - India's central bank chief, who has raised policy interest rates twice since taking office in September, said on Friday no single data point will determine its next move on curtailing high inflation amid a weak economy.

Headline wholesale price index (WPI) inflation hit an eight-month high of 7.0 percent in October, driven by costlier fuel and manufactured goods, data on Thursday showed, raising the prospect of a futher rate increase.

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Raghuram Rajan said that demand needs to be reduced without having severe effects on investment and supply.

"This is a balancing act, which requires the Reserve Bank to act firmly so that the economy is disinflating, even while allowing the weak economy more time than one would normally allow for it to reach a comfortable level of inflation," he said in a speech at a banking conference.

At its last meeting, on Oct. 29, the RBI raised its policy repo rate by 25 basis points to 7.75 percent, citing persistent inflationary pressures, despite an economy that grew at a decade-low 5 percent in the fiscal year that ended in March.

"The weak state of the economy, as well as the good Kharif (summer) and Rabi (winter) harvest, will generate disinflationary forces that will help, and we await data to see how these forces are playing out," Rajan said.

"No single data point or number will determine our next move," he said.

Indian markets were closed on Friday for a holiday. (Reporting by Suvashree Dey Chowdhury; Writing by Subhadip Sircar; Editing by Tony Munroe)

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