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August 7, 2007

Inflation stands at 2.6% in July
Philippine consumer prices rose 2.6% in July, faster than its June pace of 2.3%, driven by higher food prices and utility costs, the National Statistics Office said on August 7.

Inflation rate in July was faster than the Philippine central bank, or the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP)' forecast of 1.8-2. 5% for the month.

Core inflation, which excludes some food and energy items, increased an annual 3.0 percent from 2.5% in June, the statistics agency said in a statement.

BSP governor Amando Tetangco Jr. said he was unfazed by the latest inflation data.

"The inflation rate of 2.6% for July reflects the uptick in food and oil prices. At this level, the year-to-date average inflation remains at 2.6%, and is within the central bank's forecast for the year of 2.6-3.1%," Tetangco said.

"This continues to support our view of a manageable inflation environment," he said.

Monetary officials have forecast inflation to settle between 2. 6% and 3.1% this year, softer than the government target of 4-5%. Xinhua

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