The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) sees the inflation rate for March most likely hitting a two-year high of 4.7 percent in March.
BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno said March’s point inflation forecast was still within the central bank’s 4.2- to 5.0-percent projected range, but is much higher than 2.5 percent a year ago.
If Diokno’s estimate is correct, March’s inflation figure would be the highest since December 2018’s 5.1 percent.
The official March inflation figure will be released by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) on April 6.
“The downward adjustment in Meralco (Manila Electric Company) electricity rates as well as lower prices of key food items due to supply conditions and the continued implementation of price caps on meat products are the main sources of downside price pressures during the month,” Diokno said.
Meralco reduced its per-kilowatt-hour (kWh) rate for households consuming 200 kWh monthly by P0.3598 last month.
On February 8, the government imposed a 60-day price ceiling on pork and chicken products in Metro Manila as price increases were noted after the Christmas holidays. Under Executive Order 124, the price ceiling per kilogram of kasim (shoulder) and pigue (back leg or ham cut) is P270, P300 for liempo (belly), and P160 for dressed chicken.
“These factors could be partly offset by higher oil prices and the peso depreciation, however,” Diokno added.
“Moving forward, the BSP will continue to monitor evolving economic and financial conditions to ensure that the monetary policy stance remains consistent with the BSP’s price stability mandate,” he added. SOVEREIGNPH