Inflation rises to 6.2% in Q3 2018

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The country's inflation rate rose to an average of 6.2% in the 3rd quarter of 2018.

In a press briefing on Friday, October 19, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) attributed the spike in the 3rd quarter mainly to rising food and energy prices.

The figure is higher than the 4.8% in the 2nd quarter of 2018. It also brought year-to-date inflation to 5%.

The government recently adjusted the inflation forecast for 2018 to a range of 4.8% to 5.2%, from the previous 2% to 4%. The inflation forecast for 2019 was also adjusted to 3% to 4%. (READ: EXPLAINER: How inflation affects you)

BSP Officer-in-Charge Maria Almasara Tuaño Amador said the central bank's decision to raise interest rates to 150 basis points this year was "warranted," as inflation expectations remain elevated.

"Any further monetary tightening will be data-dependent," Amador said.

She added that the government may still miss the inflation target for 2019, but could revert quickly with the timely implementation of non-monetary measures such as rice tariffication.

Amador also identified the trade war between the United States and China along with higher global oil prices as strong headwinds from the global scene which would continue to affect domestic prices.

Meanwhile, the country's wider current account deficit and the bearish sentiment in the Philippine Stock Exchange also continue to affect the economy. (WATCH: Rappler Talk: Bulls, bears, and other beasts of the stock market)

"The BSP reassures the public of its strong commitment to take all necessary policy actions to address the threat of high inflation and deliver on its mandate of price stability," Amador said. – Rappler.com