BSP eyes October ’19 inflation at 0.5% to 1.3%

MANILA — Philippine monetary officials forecast October 2019 inflation to decelerate to as much as 0.5 percent, slower than the 0.9 percent last September, but the upper end of the projection range for this month is 1.3 percent.

In a statement Thursday, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said economists from its Department of Economic Research (DER) see lower rice prices as among the reasons for the slower rate of price increases.

It, however, said that “increases in electricity and water rates, as well as higher prices of LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) and selected food items, are seen as the primary sources of upward price pressures for the month.”

“Looking ahead, the BSP will remain watchful of evolving inflationary conditions to ensure that the monetary policy stance remains consistent with the BSP’s price stability mandate,” it added.

Inflation has been declining since peaking at 6.7 percent in September and October 2018, particularly due to a drop in rice prices as supply increases, a turn-around from last year.

BSP’s policy-making Monetary Board (MB) forecasts inflation to average at 2.5 percent this year, within the low-end of the government’s 2 to 4-percent target. Joann Villanueva/PNA-