Philippines: Inflation speeds up in February
March 5, 2013
In February, consumer prices rose 0.30% over the previous month, which followed the 0.53% increase recorded in January. The reading mainly reflects higher prices for alcoholic beverages and tobacco, which increased after the implementation of the Sin Tax Reform Act of 2012.
Building on the monthly rise, annual headline inflation increased from 3.0% in January to 3.4% in February, which marks the fastest rate seen in five months. Annual average inflation, which is the reference rate used by the Central Bank as a guide for monetary policy, remained unchanged at 3.1%, remaining within the Bank's target of 4.0% plus/minus 1.0 percentage points.
Finally, the core inflation index, which excludes volatile items such as food and oil, increased 0.31% over the previous month in February, driving annual core inflation to 3.8% (January 3.6%).
The Central Bank expects inflation to settle within its target of 4.0% plus/minus 1.0 percentage points in both 2013 and 2014. Consensus Forecast panellists expect annual inflation to average 3.7% in 2013, which is down 0.1 percentage points from last month's forecast. For 2014, the panel expects inflation to average 4.0%.