Philippines February inflation eases to 8.6% y/y

March 7, 2023 - 9:59 AM
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Onions are displayed at a stall at a public market in Manila, Philippines, January 28, 2023. (Reuters/Lisa Marie David/File Photo)

Philippine annual inflation eased for the first time in six months in February, owing to lower transport and food prices, but it is unlikely to budge the central bank from tightening monetary policy further.

The consumer price index rose at a slower pace of 8.6% in February after accelerating non-stop since August, the statistics agency said on Tuesday, but core inflation quickened to 7.8% from 7.4% in January.

With the slower-than-expected inflation, the central bank would likely opt for a 25 basis point hike at its meeting on March 23 as previously flagged by Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Felipe Medalla.

Economists had forecast February inflation to quicken to 8.8%, while the central bank had 8.5%-9.3% projection for February.

—Reporting by Neil Jerome Morales and Enrico dela Cruz; Editing by Martin Petty