BSP says uptick in January ’17 inflation rate within target

MANILA -- The rise of the Philippines' rate of price increases in January 2017 to 2.7 percent from the previous month's 2.6 percent is within the central bank's projection.

This was the assurance given by Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor M. Amando Tetangco Jr. after the government released the January 2017 inflation report Tuesday.

In a text message to reporters, the central bank chief said inflation print in the first month this year is within the BSP's 2.3-3.2 percent target for the month.

"(It is) consistent with our expectation that inflation will follow a slow path to within the target range," he said referring to the central bank's two to four percent target range for 2016-19.

Inflation in January 2016 is lower at 1.3 percent.

The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) traced the higher inflation rate last month to faster increases in six indices namely, Clothing and Footwear; Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas and other Fuels; Health; Transport, Recreation and Culture; and Restaurant and Miscellaneous Goods and Services.

Tetangco said monetary officials "are closely monitoring developments, including the emerging form and magnitude of the tax reform program as well as those from the external front, and their impact on our own price and growth dynamics."

"We will consider these at our policy meeting this week," he added.

The central bank's policy-making Monetary Board (MB) will have its first rate setting meet this year on Thursday, and it is widely anticipated to keep key rates steady. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency

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