• Nov. inflation rises to 3.3%

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    Higher prices of food, housing, utilities put pressure on the country’s annual headline inflation as it rose to 3.3 percent in the month of November.

    Data from the National Statistics Office (NSO) showed that November inflation was higher compared to the previous month’s 2.9 percent. The uptrend was recorded in the prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages; housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels; furnishing, household equipment and routine maintenance of the house; and transport.

    In Metro Manila, the annual rate also picked up to 1.9 percent in November from 1.1 percent in October, as higher annual growths were noted in the indices of food and non-alcoholic beverages; housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels; and furnishing, household equipment and routine maintenance of homes.

    In areas outside Metro Manila, annual inflation jumped by 3.8 percent in November from 3.4 percent in October, as higher annual increases were registered in the indices of food and non-alcoholic beverages; housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels; furnishing, household equipment and routine maintenance of the house; health; and transport.

    Furthermore, the NSO data showed that core inflation advanced to 2.8 percent in November from 2.5 percent in October.

    On the other hand, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said that the inflation turnout for November was at the lower end of its 3.3-percent to 4.1-percent forecast range.

    The central bank said that some tightness in domestic supply conditions—triggered by recent weather-related production disruptions—led to higher prices of some food items, particularly rice, fish and vegetables.

    The BSP also noted that the upward adjustment in electricity rates because of the increase in the generation, transmission, and system-loss charges, as well as higher gasoline and liquefied petroleum gas prices, contributed to the increase in nonfood inflation for the month.

    “We could see inflation inch up in the coming months as more of the effects of the calamities become known,” BSP Governor Amando Tetangco Jr. said in a text message to reporters on Thursday.

    The central bank has said that inflation could pick up in the remainder of the year given the damage to agricultural production and disruptions in the supply distribution channels, because of the recent typhoons that battered the country this year.

    “Nevertheless, as experience in past natural calamities have taught us, we do not see these effects persisting,” Tetangco added.

    Meanwhile, the BSP governor said that the inflation rate is still seen to be within the 3-percent to 5-percent target.

    He added that the policy settings of the monetary authority remain appropriate, however, the BSP stands ready to make adjustments as and when needed to address unforeseen developments.

    The central bank has maintained its key policy settings since October last year, keeping interest rates for the overnight borrowing or reverse repurchase facility at 3.5 percent, while overnight lending or repurchase is at 5.5 percent. The reserve requirement ratios were kept steady as well.

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