BSP eyes October ’15 inflation between 0.1-0.9%

By Joann Santiago

MANILA, Oct. 27 (PNA) — The impact of Typhoon Lando on crops is seen as among the upside risks on Philippines’ October 2015 inflation rate but the central bank continues to see below-target rate of price increases.

In a text message to reporters Tuesday, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Amando Tetangco Jr. said they forecast October inflation to stay within 0.1-0.9 percent.

“Transitory uptick in food prices in Lando-affected areas, (and) higher LPG (liquified petroleum gas) and diesel prices could be offset by downward adjustments in power rates and regular gasoline prices,” he said.

“BSP will remain watchful of price developments to ensure its primary mandate of price stability conducive to balanced and sustainable economic growth,” he added.

Prices of basic commodities such as vegetables have risen following the devastation of most of Luzon due to “Lando”, which lingered for 10 days or from October 14-24.

Impact of the typhoon, however, is not seen to result to a surge in the inflation rate.

Inflation in the first nine months of 2015 averaged at 1.6 percent, below the government’s two to four percent target for 2015-18.

Last September alone, inflation further went down to 0.4 percent from month-ago’s 0.6 percent.

Inflation has been below-target since last May when it fell to 1.6 percent from the previous month’s 2.2 percent due to sustained drop in oil prices.

Monetary officials forecast this year’s average inflation rate to remain below-target but to climb to within-target levels in 2016. (PNA)