Monetary officials confident 2017 inflation within gov't goal

By Joann Villanueva

October 5, 2017, 6:23 pm

MANILA - - Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Nestor A. Espenilla Jr. remains confident that inflation will be within the government's target for this year amid the uptick to five-month high of 3.4 percent last September from the previous month’s 3.1 percent.

In the first nine months this year, inflation averaged at 3.1 percent, slightly above the mid-point of the government’s two to four percent target. Inflation a year ago is lower at 2.3 percent.

The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), in a report Thursday, traced the faster inflation rate last September to annual growth posted by the heavily-weighted food and non-alcoholic beverages index.

Core inflation, which exclude volatile items such as food and oil, went up to 3.3 percent last September from last August’s three percent. Average to date stood at 2.9 percent.

Despite this inflation rate, Espenilla said monetary officials remain confident that rate of price increases will stay within target until 2019.

“Firm domestic economic activity, sufficient liquidity and well-anchored inflation expectations continue to support current policy settings," he said.

Espenilla also assured the public that central bank officials will continue to “closely monitor emerging economic and financial developments to determine scope for further refinement of policy instruments.’

The central bank’s policy-making Monetary Board (MB) projects inflation to average at 3.2 percent from 2017 to 2017. (PNA)