Philippines: Inflation holds steady in March
April 5, 2011
In March, consumer prices added 0.29% over the previous month, following on a 1.06% increase observed in February. The subdued monthly price rise reflected falling food prices as well as cheaper services. On the other hand, prices in the housing and repairs category increased in March. Annual headline inflation remained unchanged in March at 4.3%, which was below the 4.6% expected by the market. Furthermore, the annual core inflation rate, which excludes the price volatility associated with items such as oil and food, eased from 3.6% in February to 3.4% in March. Annual average inflation, which is the reference rate used by the Central Bank to conduct monetary policy, inched down from 3.8% in February to 3.7% in March. Currently, annual average inflation is below the target rate of 4.0% (1% tolerance margin), set by the Bank for 2011.