MANILA – The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) forecasts a generally slower inflation rate for March 2020 of between 2 to 2.8 percent, from February’s 2.6 percent, partly due to lower petroleum prices in the international market.
In a statement Tuesday, the central bank said global crude oil prices declined significantly, which is reflected in the prices in the domestic market.
It also cited that prices of select food products “remained broadly stable” this month because of favorable weather conditions and the price freeze imposed by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Department of Agriculture (DA).
DTI and DA implemented the price freeze since March 15 after the declaration of a public health emergency in the country last March 8 due to the impact of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) global pandemic.
The BSP, on the other hand, noted the uptick of electricity prices in areas being serviced by the Manila Electric Company (Meralco).
“Going forward, the BSP will continue to monitor economic and financial developments, and stands ready to implement appropriate policies in support of its primary mandate of price stability conducive to balanced and sustainable economic growth,” it added.
During the rate-setting meeting of the BSP’s policy-making Monetary Board (MB) last March 19, the Board slashed the central bank’s average inflation forecast for this year from 3 percent to 2.2 percent and next year’s from 2.9 percent to 2.4 percent as it continues to see firmly anchored inflation outlook.
The government’s inflation target for this and next year is between 2 to 4 percent. (PNA)