Philippines: Inflation falls to lowest level in almost four years
June 5, 2013
In May, consumer prices remained virtually unchanged, rising a slight 0.08% over the previous month, which followed the 0.23% increase recorded in April. The reading mainly reflects higher prices for food items that were nearly offset by lower prices for electricity, gas and other fuels.
Following the subdued monthly rise, annual headline inflation was unchanged in May at 2.6%, which came in below market expectations that saw inflation rising to 2.8%. The reading marks the lowest print since September 2009. Annual average inflation, which is the reference rate used by the Central Bank as a guide for monetary policy, was also unchanged over last month at 3.1%. At the current level, average inflation remains still within the Central Bank's target of 4.0% plus/minus 1.0 percentage points.
The core inflation index, which excludes volatile items such as food and oil, increased 0.15% over the previous month in May, driving annual core inflation down to 3.0% (April: 3.1%).
The Central Bank expects inflation to settle within the lower end of its target of 4.0% plus/minus 1.0 percentage points in both 2013 and 2014. FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panellists expect annual inflation to average 3.4% in 2013, which is down 0.2 percentage points from last month's forecast. For 2014, the panel expects inflation to average 3.9%.