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Philippine inflation eases on lower oil, rice prices

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November 6, 2008

Philippine inflation eases on lower oil, rice prices
Inflation in the Philippines eased slightly to 11.2 percent in October as oil and rice prices continue to fall, Reuters reported, quoting the government figures.

The National Statistics Office said it had revised its September inflation rate from 11.9 percent to 11.8 percent without giving a reason.

October's inflation rate was below the central bank's forecast range of 11.3 to 12.1 percent, according to Dow Jones Newswires.

The Philippine central bank said the latest lower-than-expected rate provides it greater flexibility in policy making.

Central bank governor Amando Tetangco said the further slowdown last month also underscores its benign inflation outlook.

"As expected, inflation further decelerated in October," he said

"The recent steady downward trajectory in headline inflation and in international oil and rice prices bodes well for cementing inflation expectations going forward, which in turn provides greater latitude for monetary policy," Tetangco said in a text message sent to reporters.

He said the main risks to the inflation outlook were volatilities in the foreign exchange rate and domestic liquidity.

"Our monetary policy stance will continue to be geared towards our mandate of price stability, which we believe will be instrumental in mitigating the negative impact of financial market stresses on the real sector," Tetangco said.

The central bank will hold its next interest rate-setting meeting on November 20.

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