• Nov inflation likely higher at 0.8%

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    Headline inflation could have inched up this month due to higher housing, utilities, and food prices, the Finance department said on Tuesday.

    “Inflation rate for November may reach 0.8 percent, double the price increase last month, suggesting that inflation may have already bottomed out after hitting record lows of 0.4 percent in the previous couple of months,” the department said in its latest Economic Bulletin.

    “The higher rate of increase in the general prices may be traced to a slower deceleration in the housing and utilities group and a modest rise in food prices,” it added.

    Price rises in housing and utilities could decline to 1.3 percent this month, the department said, while food inflation may accelerate to 0.8 percent.

    October saw inflation stay at a record low of 0.4 percent inflation, the same as that posted in September. The Finance department, in its previous bulletin, had forecast a new low of 0.5 percent.

    October’s result prompted the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas to declare that inflation had likely bottomed out after a run of record lows.

    With the year-to-date average at 1.4 percent, below the 2 percent to 4 percent target, monetary authorities earlier this month cut their forecasts for this year up to 2017. The rise in consumer prices, they added, would likely return to the target band starting next year.

    The new 2015 projection is 1.4 percent, down from 1.6 percent. For 2016, the Monetary Board adjusted the inflation forecast to 2.3 percent from 2.6 percent and trimmed this further to 2.9 percent from 3 percent for 2017.

    November inflation data is scheduled to be released on December 4 by the Philippine Statistics Authority.

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