Philippines: Inflation picks up to highest level in three months
October 3, 2013
In September, consumer prices expanded 0.60% over the previous month, which came in above the 0.22% increase seen in August. Higher prices for food and non-alcoholic beverages as well as for housing, water and fuels were the most important drivers behind the monthly increase.
Annual inflation rose from 2.1% in August to 2.7% in September, the highest print observed in three months. Meanwhile, annual average inflation, which is the reference rate used by the Central Bank as a guide for monetary policy, inched down from 2.9% in August to 2.8% in September. At the current level, average inflation sits below 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, edged up 0.08% over the previous month and came in above the flat reading seen in August. Finally, annual core inflation rose from 1.9% in August to 2.3% in September.
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 panelists 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%, which is unchanged from last month's projection.
Author: Carl Kelly, Economist