The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) sees the country’s headline inflation rate increasing to 3.7 percent in January from higher prices of fuel, meat and sin, and power rates.
In a statement, BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno said their estimate for January’s point inflation was within the 3.3- to 4.1-percent forecast range. This is faster than the 3.5-percent consumer price growth in December last year, and the 2.9-percent in January 2020.
The January inflation data will be released by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) on February 5.
“Higher prices for fuel and meat as well as increased Meralco (Manila Electric Co.) power rates and excise taxes on alcoholic beverages and tobacco contributed to upward price pressures during the month,” Diokno said.
Meralco raised its per kilowatt-hour (kWh) rate for households consuming 200 kWh monthly by P0.2744 last January.
And as mandated under the Republic Acts 11346 and 11467, the government has imposed higher tax rates on alcoholic beverages and tobacco products starting last January.
Diokno further said those upside risks “could be partly offset by stable rice prices, lower prices selected fish and vegetables as well as the continued appreciation of the peso.”
“Going forward, the BSP will remain watchful of economic and financial developments to ensure the delivery of its primary mandate of price stability conducive to a balanced and sustainable economic growth,” Diokno added. SOVEREIGNPH