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Sunday, December 10, 2023

Moody’s Analytics expects inflation to slow down to 5.2% in September

Moody’s Analytics, which operates independently of Moody’s Investors Service credit rating agency, said Monday it expects a slower inflation rate in the Philippines in September 2023.

Moody’s Analytics said in a report inflation in September might have slowed slightly to 5.2 percent from 5.3 percent in July. The projection was contained in its economic preview for the week.

Moody’s, however, did not provide the reasons for its inflation forecast. This was below the 5.3 percent to 6.1 percent estimate of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas for August.

The government is set to release the September inflation data on Oct. 5.

The BSP said higher prices of fuel, electricity and key agricultural commodities, as well as the peso depreciation could be the primary sources of upward price pressures in September.

Meanwhile, lower rice and meat prices could contribute to downward price pressures for the month.

The BSP in its last policy meeting kept the policy interest rate steady at 6.25 percent amid the persistent elevated inflation.

It was the fourth pause for the year by local monetary authorities, but BSP Governor and Monetary Board (MB) chairman Eli Remolona said a rate hike “remained on the table in November.”

The BSP raised the policy rates by a total of 425 basis points to 6.25 percent between May 2022 and March 2023, before taking what it called a “prudent pause” in the last four MB meetings.

The peso depreciation and higher crude prices in the world market lifted domestic pump prices in recent weeks, leading to petitions for transport fare hikes.

Electricity prices, however, remained stable, while food prices began to ebb following the imposition of rice price ceiling. President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. rejected proposal to bring down the tariff on imported rice, citing the incoming fourth-quarter harvest by local farmers.

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