BSP eyes 0.2-1% inflation rate for September ’15

By Joann Santiago

MANILA, Sept. 29 (PNA) — The Banko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) continues to see below-target inflation in September 2015 but cited that the impact of El Niño on domestic prices can also be felt.

In a text message to reporters, BSP Governor Amando Tetangco Jr. said they forecast rate of domestic price increases to stay within 0.2 to one percent in the ninth month this year.

He attributed the pull to the low-end of the target to the cut in power rates and drop in rice prices.

“However, the impact of a stronger and protracted El Niño on food prices and utility rates could provide a source of upside inflation in the months ahead,” he said.

“The BSP will continue to monitor evolving price trends to ensure price stability conducive to a balanced and sustainable economic growth,” he added.

Inflation averaged at 1.7 percent in the first eight months this year, way below the government’s two to four percent target for this year until 2018.

Last August alone, inflation further went down to 0.6 percent from month-ago’s 0.8 percent on account of the decline in the indices of housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels and transport.

Inflation has been below-target since May this year due mainly to the impact of lower oil prices but monetary officials see an uptick in the coming months because of the impact of the dry spell. (PNA)