Philippines: Inflation reaches lowest level in more than three years
May 7, 2013
In April, consumer prices rose 0.23% over the previous month, which followed the 0.08% increase recorded in March. The reading mainly reflected higher prices for alcoholic beverages and tobacco as well as for clothing and footwear.
Despite the monthly rise, annual headline inflation fell from 3.2% in March to 2.6%, which was below market expectations that saw inflation dropping only to 2.8% in April. The reading marks, in fact, the lowest print since October 2009. Annual average inflation, which is the reference rate used by the Central Bank as a guide for monetary policy, fell slightly to 3.1% in April from 3.2% in the previous month. At the current level, average inflation remains 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 0.31% over the previous month in April, driving annual core inflation down to 3.1% (March: 3.8%).
The Central Bank expects inflation to settle within 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 3.7% in 2013, which is down 0.1 percentage points from last month's forecast. For 2014, the panel expects inflation to average 4.0%.