DOF sees higher May inflation at 1.4%

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Headline inflation likely inched up slightly to 1.4 percent in May on higher food prices during the month, the Department of Finance said.

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“Inflation may inch up to 1.4 percent this month, higher than the 1.1 percent price increase last month but still lower than the 1.6 percent price increase in the same month last year,” the department said in its latest Economic Bulletin for the month of May.

Inflation remained flat at 1.1 percent in April. May of last year saw the rise in consumer prices hit 1.6 percent.

Last week, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) estimated May inflation would fall within a range of 1.1 percent to 1.9 percent.

The Philippine Statistics Authority is scheduled to release the official May 2016 inflation data on Tuesday.

The Finance department pointed out that an uptick in the inflation rate may be attributed to an increase in food prices, particularly vegetables.

DOF estimated that the food and non-alcoholic beverages price index likely rose 1.9 percent in May from 1.6 percent in April.

The agency said its forecast, which is below the 2-percent to 4-percent BSP target, could be traced to comparatively lower fuel and electricity prices that the country still enjoys.

It noted that Manila Electric Co. rates for May are, on average, 15 percent lower that of the same month last year.

“This low rate allows room for monetary policy to sustain rapid economic growth,” the agency said.

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