Analysts see Nov inflation at 2.5% – 4.1%

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Philippine headline inflation likely slowed further to between 2.5 percent and 4.1 percent in November from 4.3 percent in October, given the continued easing of food and crude oil prices, private analysts polled by The Manila Times said.

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This is lower than the central bank’s projection of between 3.5 percent and 4.3 percent rate for November as announced late last month.

Official data for November inflation is due for release by the Philippine Statistics Authority today.

Dropping oil, food prices
“The sustained drop in global oil prices, although quite slow to trickle in to domestic transport fares but nevertheless seen in successive roll-backs in pump prices, should pull inflation for November to the 2.5 percent to 2.8 percent range,” Justino Calaycay, analyst at Accord Capital Equities Corp., said.

Victor Abola of the University of the Asia and Pacific estimates inflation for that month at 3.8 percent due to “hugely” lower fuel prices and falling food prices, particularly rice.

Patrick Ella, economist at Security Bank Corp., said he is seeing a 3.85 percent rate for November as the drop in crude prices should translate into lower pump prices and transport costs.

“We are seeing continued normalization of inflation,” he said.

“Our forecast is 4 percent for November, given slower price growth across all food groups except vegetables and a deeper contraction in oil prices,” Mabellene Reynaldo, research analyst at Metrobank Research, said.

In a joint report, First Metro Investments Corp. and the University of Asia and the Pacific said it expects November inflation to settle at 4.1 percent as food prices have stabilized and crude oil prices have slumped on the international markets.

“The arrival of more imported rice and the start of the delayed harvest season by mid-October, as well as the lifting of the truck ban in Manila, have put downward pressure on food prices,” they said.

Nicholas Antonio Mapa, associate economist at the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) said he is looking at 4 percent for November based on slower increases in the prices of rice and vegetables. Mapa also noted lower electricity costs during the month.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) earlier announced it was expecting lower November inflation at an average between 3.5 percent and 4.3 percent. “Soft global oil prices get translated into lower domestic prices,” Governor Amando Tetangco Jr. said.

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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