BSP keeps interest rates steady at 6.50%

April 8, 2024 - 4:42 PM
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(Photo from BusinessWorld)

The Philippine central bank kept its benchmark rate unchanged at 6.50% for a fourth straight meeting on Monday, as expected, even as inflation further quickened in March.

All 21 economists in a Reuters poll had expected the BSP to keep its target reverse repurchase rate PHCBIR=ECI unchanged.

Annual inflation accelerated for a second straight month in March to 3.7% on higher food and transport costs. Rice inflation jumped to its fastest pace in 15 years, accounting for nearly half of the price uptick for the month.

READ: Philippine annual inflation at 3.7% in March

The central bank has raised rates by 450 basis points since May 2022, including in an off-cycle hike in October.

“Risks to inflation outlook continues to lean towards the upside,” Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Eli Remolona told a press briefing.

— Reporting by Mikhail Flores and Neil Jerome Morales; Editing by Kanupriya Kapoor