Philippine annual inflation in September is expected to settle within the range of 5.3% to 6.1%, the central bank said on Friday, ahead of the data release next week.
Higher prices of fuel, electricity, and key agricultural commodities, as well as peso depreciation are the primary sources of upward price pressures in September, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said in a statement.
Lower prices of rice and meat could contribute to downward price pressures for the month, it said.
Headline inflation in August quickened for the first time in seven months to 5.3% due largely to an uptick in food and transport costs, keeping pressure on the central bank to maintain its hawkish policy stance.
On Thursday, BSP Governor Eli M. Remolona doubled down on his hawkish signals, saying there was “a little bit of scope” for an off-cycle interest rate hike “depending on the numbers”.
Last week, he said a hike was on the table at the BSP’s rate-setting meeting in November.
The BSP on Sept. 21 kept its Target Reverse Repurchase Rate steady at 6.25%, for a fourth straight meeting, after a series of hikes from May last year to March this year to curb inflationary pressures.
“Going forward, the BSP will continue to monitor developments affecting the outlook for inflation and growth in line with its data dependent approach to monetary policy formulation,” it said in Friday’s statement. — Reuters