MANILA— The Philippines’ central bank is looking at raising benchmark interest rates two to three times to bring down inflation by next year, with the first hike to be considered in June, its governor said in an interview with Bloomberg TV on Tuesday.
“We have another meeting in June and maybe that is the time we will consider the increase in policy rate,” said Central Bank Governor Benjamin Diokno.
It would take two to three rate hikes, plus a normalization of oil prices, to bring inflation down to an annual average of 3.6% in 2023, Diokno said.
Average inflation could breach the upper end of the 2%-4% target range in 2022 by reaching 4.3%, central bank data show.
The central bank’s next rate-setting meeting is on May 19. It has kept key rates PHCBIR=ECI at a record low of 2% since November 2020 to help the economy weather the coronavirus pandemic.
—Reporting by Neil Jerome Morales; Editing by Kanupriya Kapoor