Inflation seen at 2.3%-3.2% in January – BSP
MANILA, Philippines – The country's inflation rate will likely be between 2.3% and 3.2% in January, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said, noting that higher oil prices and its spillover effects are seen to offset downward price pressures.
"The BSP forecast suggests that January inflation could settle within the 2.3%-3.2% range. Downward price pressures include a slight decline in rice prices and lower power rates in Meralco-serviced areas," BSP Governor Amando Tetangco Jr told reporters in a text message on Thursday, January 26.
But higher domestic prices of gasoline, diesel, and LPG as well as the excise tax adjustments for alcoholic beverages and tobacco products would likely exert upside pressures on prices of basic goods and services during the month, Tetangco added.
In effect, this will likely hurt Filipinos' consumer spending, according to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).
"Anything that is more expensive, we buy less of it. Consumer goods spending will probably be less brisk with higher inflation," NEDA Director-General Ernesto Pernia said in a separate briefing in Makati City early this month.
Moving forward, Tetangco said the BSP will continue to monitor emerging price conditions to ensure price stability "conducive to balanced and sustainable economic growth."
Full-year inflation for 2016 settled at 1.8%, which is its lowest in 29 years. Inflation last December quickened to 2.6%, the fastest in 2016.
This was because in December, the rate per kilowatt hour (kWh) of the Manila Electric Company (Meralco) for an average of 300 kilowatts-per-month consumption slightly increased to P8.70 from P8.60 in November.
Meralco's generation rate per kWh also increased to P3.90 in December from P3.80 in November, but still below P4.10 in 2015.
Also, the average price of diesel in Metro Manila among the "big 3" oil companies jumped to P29.10 per liter in December from P27.30 in November, which is also higher than the P23.90 registered in the same month in 2015. – Rappler.com