ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
BSP sees inflation at 2.6–3.4% in August
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) on Thursday said it expects inflation—the pace at which consumer prices grow—to settle within the 2.6- to 3.4-percent range this month.
"The BSP Department of Economic Research forecast suggests that August 2017 inflation could settle within the 2.6 to 3.4 percent range," it said in a statement sent to reporters via text message.
According to the BSP, among the upside drivers are the increases in utility rates, alongside the softening of the local currency.
"Increases in domestic petroleum prices, electricity rates in Meralco-serviced areas, and rice prices along with the depreciation of the peso could contribute to upward pressures for the month," it said.
Pangilinan-led Meralco imposed a P0.1338 per-kilowatt-hour increase in electricity rates this month, translating to a P27 increase in the total bill of a typical residential household.
"Moving forward, the BSP will continue to assess domestic and external factors that affect the balance of risks surrounding the inflation outlook in line with its mandate of delivering price stability conducive to a balanced and sustained economic growth," it said.
To recall, BSP Governor Nestor A. Espenilla, Jr. last month said he was "not inclined" to send out monthly inflation forecasts under his term, unlike his immediate predecessor Amando M. Tetangco, Jr.
The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) is scheduled to release the August consumer price index on Tuesday, September 5.
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