Inflation rate may pick up in coming months

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The country’s inflation rate may pick up in the remaining months 2013, according to Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).

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“The estimate that we have is there could be some increase but on the whole,” BSP Governor Amando Tetangco Jr. said to reporters on Wednesday.

However, Tetangco noted that inflation in the coming months will still be well within the 3-percent to 5-percent target of the BSP.

“In fact for 2013, as you know we’re slightly below the target at this point in time . . . So even if there is some increase the likelihood is that we’ll be closer to the lower end of the target range,” he said.

Latest data from the National Statistics Office showed that the Philippine annual headline inflation picked up to 2.7 percent in September from 2.1 percent in August.

In a recent statement, the BSP governor said that the central bank is keeping the target band for inflation.

“The assessment now has not materially changed from the assessment that we had in the last policy meeting,” he stated.

Tetangco added that 2013 overall inflation will be close to the lower end of the target range, while for 2014, inflation will be below the midpoint of the target range.

“Based on the data, we are within that range. We update this every policy meeting. Right now, there doesn’t seem to be any significant factor to be considered to change the outlook. Especially with the appreciating peso,” he said.

Meanwhile, Standard Chartered Bank in a report said that inflation expectations remains well anchored.

The bank expects inflation to pick up modestly and gradually in the second half of 2013 and 2014.

“Upside risks to food prices have faded thanks to food security—the Philippines is on track to meet its rice self-sufficiency target in 2013. We see more upside risk to energy, housing and alcohol/tobacco inflation,” it said.

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