• Aug. inflation seen at 1.9% to 2.7%

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    The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) on Thursday said that inflation this month likely settled below the 3-percent to 5-percent full-year target.

    “August inflation is expected to remain benign at 1.9 percent to 2.7 percent despite the recent weather disturbances, peso weakness and uptick in petrol prices,” BSP Governor Amando Tetangco Jr. said in a text message to reporters.

    Weather disturbances battered the Philippines this month resulting in agricultural damage amounting to P2.6 billion, while the peso recorded its weakest level when it entered the P44 to a dollar territory last week.

    However, Tetangco explained that lower power charges could temper price pressures during the month, as the Manila Electric Co. reduced electricity rates by P0.35 a kilowatt-hour in August.

    “The BSP will nevertheless continue to closely monitor incipient price pressure to help ensure that the economy runs as efficiently as possible,” he said.

    Earlier, the central bank reported that the headline inflation for the second quarter of the year eased to 2.6 percent from the 3.2 percent a quarter ago. It said that the second-quarter inflation figure brought the year-to-date average inflation rate to 2.9 percent.

    It was also slightly below the government’s 2013 inflation target range of 4 percent plus or minus 1 percentage point.

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