Philippines: Inflation accelerates slightly on higher food prices
October 5, 2011
In September, consumer prices added 0.16% over the previous month, above the 0.08% increase observed in August. The result mainly reflected a rise in food prices, which increased due to a fall in supply, triggered by the damage wrought to crops by the recent typhoons. Consequently, annual headline inflation accelerated from 4.7% in August to 4.8% in September. Meanwhile, annual core inflation, which excludes the price volatility associated with items such as food and oil, inched up from 3.4% in August to 3.5% in September. Annual average inflation, which is the reference rate the Central Bank uses to conduct its monetary policy, edged up from 4.4% in August to 4.5% in September. Currently, annual average inflation lies within the 1% tolerance margin around the 4.0% target rate set by the Bank for 2011. Furthermore, on 20 October, the Central Bank left the benchmark interest rate unchanged at 4.50% for a fourth meeting, citing moderating domestic economic growth and uncertainty regarding the global economy.