October inflation likely within 5.1%-5.9% — BSP

November 1, 2023 - 9:37 AM
A woman arranges vegetable in a market stall in Edsa Kamias in Quezon City, metro Manila, May 23, 2018. REUTERS/Dondi Tawatao

 Philippine annual inflation likely eased in October, the central bank said on Tuesday, predicting the rate to fall between 5.1% and 5.9%.

The central bank’s projection for October inflation was below the 6.1% rate in September, and reflected lower prices of rice, meat, and vegetables and a reduction in the cost of petroleum products.

In a statement, the central bank said “it will continue to closely monitor developments affecting the outlook for inflation and growth in line with its data dependent approach to monetary policy formulation.”

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas raised its benchmark policy rate by 25 basis points in an off-cycle move to 6.5% on Thursday, bringing the rate to its highest in 16 years.

Slower inflation could ease the pressure on the central bank to hike more. It has said it was prepared to tighten policy further if the inflation was worse than thought.

By the time the central bank meets on Nov. 16 to review policy, it would already have the data for October inflation and third quarter growth, which are due to be released on Nov. 7 and 9, respectively.

– Reporting by Karen Lema and Mikhail Flores; Editing by Andrew Heavens and Tomasz Janowski