Philippines: Inflation slows down in March
April 5, 2013
In March, consumer prices rose 0.08% over the previous month, which followed the 0.30% increase recorded in February. The reading mainly reflects lower prices for food items, due to ample domestic supply of key products, and slower price increase for non-food products following the reduction in the price of domestic petroleum.
Building on the monthly print, annual headline inflation fell from 3.4% in February to 3.2% in March, which contrasted market expectations that had inflation stable at 3.4%. Annual average inflation, which is the reference rate used by the Central Bank as a guide for monetary policy, increased slightly to 3.2% from 3.1% in February, although still remaining within the 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 only 0.15% over the previous month in March, maintaining, however, annual core inflation unchanged at 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%.