BSP estimates Nov inflation at 1.6%-2.4%

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THE Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) expects headline inflation to settle within 1.6 percent to 2.4 percent in November, citing the impact of lower oil and food prices as well as cooking gas prices and a weaker peso.

The forecast compares with the 2.3 percent headline inflation in October and 0.4 percent a year earlier.

The latest forecast is within the 2 percent to 4 percent government target for 2016 to 2018 announced earlier by the Development Budget and Coordination Committee (DBCC).

Lower petroleum prices, slight declines in rice prices and the downward adjustment in power rates, could be partly offset by cooking gas prices and a weaker peso during the month, BSP Governor Amando Tetangco Jr. said in a text message to reporters on Monday.

The Manila Electric Co. has announced a P0.0781 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) rate cut at P8.26 per kWh this month for a typical household with a monthly consumption of 200 kWh.

The peso hit a 10-year, intraday low at P50:$1 last week, its weakest since trading at 50.12 to a dollar on Nov. 11, 2006.

“Looking ahead, the BSP will continue to monitor evolving price trends and output conditions to ensure price stability conducive to a balanced and sustainable economic growth,” Tetangco said.

The central bank expects headline inflation to hit an average of 1.8 percent this year and by 3 percent in 2017 and 2.9 percent in 2018.

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