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February inflation likely stayed within target range — BSP

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Inflation rate in February likely settled within a range of 2.8 percent to 3.6 percent, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said Thursday.

The BSP’s forecast is within its 2024 target range of 2 percent and 4 percent. The Philippine Statistics Authority will release the official inflation report next week.

“Continued price increases for key food items, such as rice, meat and fish, along with increased petroleum prices and electricity rates are the primary sources of upward price pressures for the month,” the BSP said.

“Meanwhile, lower prices of vegetables, fruits and sugar could contribute to downward price pressures. Going forward, the BSP will continue to monitor developments affecting the outlook for inflation and growth in line with its data-dependent approach to monetary policy decision-making,” it said.

Security Bank Corp. chief economist Robert Dan Roces predicted that February inflation rose to 3.2 percent from 2.8 percent in January.

Roces said month-on-month inflation also likely reached 0.4 percent.

“We attribute this estimate to continued price hikes in essential food items like rice, meat and fish, coupled with rising costs of petroleum and electricity,” he said.

“However, some offsetting may be seen from lower prices for vegetables, fruits, and sugar,” Roces said.

The Monetary Board of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) on Feb. 15 kept the overnight borrowing rate steady at 6.5 percent for the third time amid the slowdown in inflation.

It also maintained the interest rates on overnight deposit and lending facilities at 6.0 percent and 7.0 percent, respectively.


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