Jul 042013

File photo of consumers in the Philippines.

MANILA, Philippines – Consumer prices slightly accelerated in June from the previous month but the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said inflation continues to remain manageable.

Inflation picked up to 2.8 percent in June from 2.6 percent in May, the National Statistics Office (NSO) reported on Friday.

“This was due to higher annual increments in the indices for alcoholic beverages and tobacco, health, transport, recreation and culture, and education,” the state agency said in its website.

Excluding food and oil prices, core inflation settled at 2.9 percent, slightly losing pace from three percent in May.

The BSP welcomed the latest inflation print, which fell within its 2 to 2.9 percent forecast for the month.

The result “further supports our assessment of manageable inflation and the current appropriateness of our current policy stance,” BSP Governor Amando Tetangco Jr. said in a text message to reporters.

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As of the first half, inflation settled at 2.9 percent, slightly below the BSP’s three- to five-percent inflation target.

The central bank, Tetangco said, will be watchful of external developments, especially on how other monetary authorities abroad will calibrate their policies.

“We will monitor the impact of these factors on global and domestic investor sentiment and growth dynamics to see if there is any need to adjust our own policy settings,” Tetangco pointed out.

The BSP has kept policy rates at record-lows of 3.5 percent and 5.5 percent since October, in a bid to facilitate more bank lending to spur growth.

This stance will be reviewed on July 25.

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