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July 21, 2024

Inflation should prove no higher than 3.6 percent in February

Inflation, or the rate of change in prices, averaging only 3 percent in January, is forecast by regulators to rise no higher than 3.6 percent during the month.

The high end of the forecast is a recognition of the increased price of rice and meat during the month, according to the Banko Sentral ng Pilipinas.

The low end of the same forecast of only 2.8 percent recognizes the offsetting power of lower electricity rates in areas serviced by Meralco in Luzon Island as well as the reported lower prices for fish and vegetables.

“The series of oil price hikes along with higher prices of rice and meat are the primary sources of inflationary pressures during the month. These could be offset in part by lower electricity rates in Meralco-serviced areas and the observed decrease in prices of fish and vegetables due to easing supply constraints,” BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno said.

The prices of oil as well as some food products such as wheat are expected to increase further as Russia started the invasion of Ukraine.

Data from the BSP show inflation steadily falling since its peak of 4.4 percent in August last year, 4.2 percent in September, 4 percent in October, only 3.7 percent in November, 3.2 percent in December and only 3 percent last month.