Headline inflation could have bottomed out last month or increased to as high as 1.2 percent, the central bank chief said on Thursday, with higher power rates, vegetable and cooking gas prices offsetting cheap fuel and rice.
“The BSP (Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas) forecast suggests that inflation could have bottomed out in October to accelerate to a 0.4 percent to 1.2 percent range in November,” central bank Governor Amando Tetangco Jr. said in a text message to reporters.
The rise in consumer prices remained at a record low of 0.4 percent last month. Earlier this week, the Finance department projected an uptick to 0.8 percent.
November inflation data will be released by the Philippine Statistics Authority on December 4.
Tetangco said lower pump prices of gasoline, diesel and kerosene, as well as a decline in rice prices, could have tempered inflation impulses for the month.
Higher power rates, higher prices of selected vegetables in Metro Manila and costlier liquefied petroleum gas, on the other hand, may provide upside pressures.
The central bank’s November forecast is well below the 2 percent to 4 percent target for the year. Year-to-date inflation remained below target at 1.4 percent as of October.
“Going forward, the BSP will continue to monitor price trends and stands ready to implement measures, in line with its commitment to helping deliver price and financial stability,” Tetangco said.
The central bank has said that headline inflation could average 1.4 percent this year before inching up to 2.3 percent in 2016 and 2.9 percent in 2017.