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NEWS UPDATES 6 August  2010

Philippine inflation holds steady

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THE July average increase in consumer prices was unchanged from the previous month despite costlier food and services, the government said on Thursday.

Rising food prices in the Philippines pushed its June inflation rate. The upturn exceeded the forecasts of both the central bank and many private analysts who had expected inflation to range high.

The National Statistics Office (NSO) said headline inflation stabilized at 3.9 percent last month.

This is within the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) forecast of between 3.5 percent and 4.4 percent.

Inflation a year ago was 0.2 percent.

The July figure led the seven-month inflation to hit 4.2 percent, also within the BSP’s full-year inflation target of 3.5 percent to 5.5 percent.

Excluding volatile food and energy items, core inflation increased marginally to 3.9 percent year-on-year from 3.8 percent in June.

In a separate statement, the BSP said lower non-food inflation offset the marginally higher food inflation brought about by costlier sugar and rice.

Furthermore, lower cooking gas and kerosene prices last month tempered fuel inflation.

“The manageable inflation pressures and well-contained inflation expectations have provided the BSP with scope to keep interest rate policy levers unchanged,” said Governor Amando Tetangco Jr.

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