BSP to maintain easy money policy amid global uncertainty

March 2, 2022 - 9:28 AM
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BSP building
Facade of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas in Manila. (BSP/Released)

MANILA — The central bank will maintain its easy monetary policy stance as it expects inflation to stay tame and for global and domestic growth situation to remain uncertain due to the Russia-Ukraine crisis, its governor said on Tuesday.

“The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) will maintain its accommodative policy stance given a manageable inflation environment and emerging uncertainty surrounding domestic and global growth prospects,” Governor Benjamin Diokno said in a virtual economic forum.

The central bank, which next meets on March 24 to review policy, is widely expected to wait until the end of the year before raising interest rates PHCBIR=ECI from a record low of 2.0% to support an uneven economic recovery from the pandemic.

Oil prices have soared as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continued to inflame global supply concerns. Pump prices have risen in the past nine weeks in the Philippines.

To mitigate the impact of higher oil prices and keep inflation under control, the government announced last week a slew of non-monetary measures like providing fuel subsidy and discounts to public utility drivers, farmers and fisherfolk.

The Philippines imports more than 90% of its annual fuel requirements, mostly from the Middle East. — Reporting by Neil Jerome Morales; Editing by Martin Petty