Philippine inflation quickens for 3rd month, keeping central bank wary By Reuters

By Neil Jerome Morales and Karen Lema

MANILA (Reuters) -Philippine annual inflation increased for a third straight month in April due to accelerated food and transport price growth, backing the central bank’s recent decisions to keep monetary policy restrictive.

The consumer price index rose 3.8% in April from a year earlier, below the 4.1% median forecast in a Reuters poll, and within the central bank’s 3.5% to 4.3% forecast for the month. Annual inflation was 3.7% in March.

The April data brought year-to-date inflation to 3.4%, within the central bank’s 2% to 4% target for 2024.

The economic planning agency said the data “underscores the need for vigilance.”

The core inflation rate, which strips out volatile food and fuel items, eased to 3.2% in April from March’s 3.4%. A Reuters poll had forecast April core inflation at 3.3%.

Following the data’s release, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas said it expected inflation to return to its 2% to 4% target for this year and next. In 2023, inflation averaged 6.0%.

ING economist Nicholas Mapa said on social media platform X the central bank will likely keep rates unchanged at its upcoming meeting.

The central bank, which next meets on May 16, has held the benchmark rate steady at the current 17-year high of 6.5% at its last four meetings.

SOURCE: – Economy News   (go to source)
AUTHOR: Reuters
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