MANILA – Philippine monetary officials project the February inflation rate to range between 2.4 percent and 3.2 percent, with the high end of the projection higher than last January’s 2.9 percent.
In a statement Friday, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said its Department of Economic Research (DER) attributed this range on account of the drop in prices of petroleum products, electricity, rice, and several food products.
It, however, did not identify possible drivers of the inflation rate.
“Looking ahead, the BSP will remain watchful of economic and financial developments to ensure that its primary mandate of price stability conducive to balanced and sustainable economic growth is achieved,” it added.
Last January, rate of price increases rose from the previous month’s 2.5 percent due to faster rise of the heavily-weighted food and non-alcoholic beverages index to 2.2 percent.
Other indices that provided upward pressures last month include the alcoholic beverages and tobacco, clothing and footwear; housing, water, electricity, gas, and other fuels; transport, recreation and culture, and education.
On Thursday, BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno said he does not see any big upticks in inflation rate this year particularly from the impact of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) since there is a drop in people’s spending.
BSP’s policy-making Monetary Board (MB), during their rate-setting meet last February 6, revised upward the central bank’s average inflation projection for this year from 2.9 percent to 3 percent.
Diokno said they are revisiting their forecast given the current situation. (IA/sovereignph.com/PNA)