• ‘2014 inflation within target’

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    Analysts’ estimates range from 3.8% to 4.3%
    Estimates made by private analysts showed that Philippine headline inflation for full-year 2014 likely averaged within the 3 percent to 5 percent target range of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).

    The analysts see inflation ranging between 3.8 percent and 4.3 percent for 2014 as the monthly increase in prices continued to slow down.

    For December alone, the analysts projected inflation to ease further to between 2.8 percent and 2.9 percent from the 3.7 percent rate in November.

    This is within the central bank’s projection of between within 2.4 percent to 3.2 percent rate for December as earlier announced.

    The analysts attributed their moderated inflation estimates to the easing of commodity prices, particularly of food and crude oil.

    Rahul Bajoria, economist at UK-based investment bank Barclays, forecast December inflation at 2.9 percent bringing the full-year rate at 4.3 percent.

    Victor Abola of the University of the Asia and Pacific estimates inflation for that month at 2.8 percent and the 2014 average at 4.2 percent.

    Nicholas Antonio Mapa, associate economist at the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) said he is looking at 2.9 percent for December, and 4.1 percent for full-year 2014.

    “Inflation may slow to 4.1 percent, given that year-to-date inflation is currently at 4.4 percent. Well-within target as BSP racks up years of within-target inflation,” he said.

    Patrick Ella, economist at Security Bank Corp., said he is seeing a 2.85 percent rate for December, bringing the average rate of 3.8 percent for 2014.

    The central bank earlier announced it was expecting that inflation rate will further moderate in December.

    BSP Governor Amando Te tangco Jr. said pressures on prices are easing and that headline inflation rate for December will be within 2.4 percent to 3.2 percent.

    Tetangco said lower rice prices, jeepney fares, power rates and the continued rollback in fuel prices will continue to pull down the country’s headline inflation rate or the basic inflation rate.

    The government noted that in November, prices of consumer items generally dropped by 0.1 percent because of lower charges in the electricity rates in most of the regions and rollbacks in prices of liquefied, kerosene, gasoline and diesel nationwide.

    Cheaper prices of pork, chicken, fish and vegetables in Metro Manila and price reductions in rice, pork, chicken and sugar in many regions were also observed.

    Full-year inflation is seen by the central bank at 4.4 percent, down from its previous forecast of 4.5 percent. For 2015, the forecast has been adjusted downward to 3.7 percent from 3.8 percent, while the projection for 2016 has been cut to 2.8 percent from 3 percent.

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