March 21, 2023

BSP projects 8.5% to 9.3% inflation in February

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has projected that inflation in February will be within a range of 8.5 to 9.3 percent due to high prices, the central bank said in a statement on Tuesday, Feb.28.

“Upward price pressures for the month are expected to emanate from higher LPG prices as well as elevated prices of key food items, such as pork, fish, egg, and sugar. Meanwhile, the lower prices for domestic petroleum, fruits and vegetables, chicken, and beef, along with the peso appreciation could contribute to easing price pressures during the month,” said the BSP.

The BSP raised the benchmark policy rate by 50 basis points to 6 percent in February to ensure inflation falls below 4 percent by the end of the year.

The central bank says it will continue to adjust its monetary policy as necessary to prevent the emergence of further price pressures.

Meanwhile, non-monetary measures such as importation could also bring inflation lower, according to Bankero and BSP Governor Felipe M. Medalla.

The governor previously signaled that the Monetary Board may raise the key rate by another 25 basis points in its policy meeting on March 23 if necessary.

However, he also added that no further adjustment may be needed if the February inflation is lower than expected.

The government will announce the February inflation rate on March 7.