By: Joann Villanueva
MANILA — Higher oil prices and power rates are seen as upside risks to the country’s March 2019 inflation rate, which the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) forecasts to stay between 3.1 and 3.9 percent.
The lower end of the projected range is way below the 3.8 percent rate of price increases in the country last February.
In a statement Friday, the BSP said its Department of Economic Research (DER) considers the lower prices of rice on account of arrival of rice imports, and other agricultural products as factors that would help offset the impact of elevated oil and electricity prices.
“Going forward, the BSP will continue to closely monitor evolving inflation dynamics and ensure that the monetary policy stance remains appropriate to support BSP’s price stability objectives,” it added.
Domestic inflation rate returned to within-target level last February, but average to date is at 4.1 percent, still above the two to four-percent target band until 2022.
BSP’s policy-making Monetary Board (MB), during its rate setting meeting last March 21, reduced the average inflation forecast to three percent from the 3.1 percent set the previous month.
The 2019 average inflation forecast remained at three percent. (PNA)