Inflation in October held steady at 6.7 percent, unchanged from the previous month’s level, leading the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) to state that it may have finally peaked, as the reading is further reinforced by a deceleration in heavily-weighted food items.
BSP Governor Nestor A. Espenilla Jr., in a message to reporters Tuesday, said the latest inflation figure “supports the view that inflation pressures are finally moderating.” “It’s a significant deceleration although the headline figure remains elevated,” he said.
The central bank chief also noted that “second round effects are also muted so far.”
“That augurs well for a return to inflation target by 2019,” he said.
“The MB (Monetary Board) will take into account these and other incoming data including GDP (gross domestic product) at its next policy meeting when it determines if there’s still need for further policy rate adjustments,” he added.
The government is scheduled to report on the domestic economy’s third quarter performance on Thursday, November 8, while the MB will have its next rate setting meet on November 15.
Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) data show that inflation in October 2017 is lower at 3.1 percent.
To date, average inflation stood at 5.1 percent, still above the two to four percent target band until 2020.
Core inflation, which excludes volatile food and oil items, meanwhile registered a faster rate of 4.9 percent from month-ago’s 4.7 percent. Average in the 10-month period is at 4 percent.