• BSP forecasts 1.6%-2.4% Sept inflation


    The central bank sees headline inflation in September settling within its projected range of 1.6 percent to 2.4 percent, given the downtrend in power rates, fuel prices and basic commodities; and upticks in the prices of rice, cooking gas and weak peso.

    That compares with 1.8 percent recorded in August.

    The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) is releasing inflation figures for September on October 5.

    “The BSP forecast suggests that September inflation could settle within the 1.6-2.4 percent range,” Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Amando Tetangco Jr. said in a text message to reporters on Monday.

    The inflation estimates stand below the full-year target of 2 percent to 4 percent set by the Development Budget Coordination Committee.

    Tetangco said lower power rates in Manila Electric Company (Meralco)-serviced areas and lower domestic diesel and kerosene prices were observed during the month.

    For September, Meralco announced a P0.0.45 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) drop in residential rates.

    In addition, the BSP chief said prices of selected basic commodities are covered by the price freeze implemented by Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), following the government’s declaration of State of National Emergency.

    “However, we also noted a slight price uptick in rice and higher domestic LPG [liquefied petroleum gas]prices along with the weaker peso, which could cause some upward price pressures,” he said.

    “The BSP stands ready to implement necessary policy actions to maintain price stability conducive to balanced and sustainable economic growth,” Tetangco added.

    In August, the headline inflation eased to 1.8 percent from 1.9 percent in July although it remained above the 0.6 percent in the year-earlier period.

    For the full-year 2016, the central bank expects a headline inflation average of 1.7 percent before picking up to 2.9 percent in 2017.


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