Philippines' Feb inflation at 2.5 pct, picking up for first time in 7 mths

miércoles 4 de marzo de 2015 21:14 GYT
 

MANILA, March 5 (Reuters) - Philippine inflation picked up
for the first time in seven months in February, but the result
is unlikely to alter expectations for the central bank to keep
rates on hold in the near term. 
   The consumer price index rose 2.5 percent in February,
matching the median forecast of 2.5 percent in a Reuters poll
and well within the central bank's 2.2-3.0 percent estimate for
the month. It was the first time the index accelerated since
July.
    Core inflation, which strips out volatile items, also
registered a higher print of 2.5 perecent in February, while
month-on-month inflation was 0.1 percent.
    The central bank next meets on March 26 to review policy.   
 
        
    Change in pct     Feb   Jan   Dec    Nov   Oct   Sept   Aug 
 
 Headline (yr/yr)     2.5   2.4   2.7    3.7   4.3   4.4    4.9 
 
 Headline (mth/mth)   0.1   0.4  -0.2   -0.1   0.1   0.1    0.3 
 
 Core (yr/yr)         2.5   2.2   2.3    2.7   3.2   3.4    3.4 
 

   INFLATION DATA BREAKDOWN
          Items              Feb        Jan      Weight
                                 (yr/yr)        (in pct)
 Food & Non-Alcoholic
 Beverages                   4.8        5.4      38.98
    -- Food alone            4.9        5.6      NA
 Alcoholic Beverages &
 Tobacco                     3.9        4.1      1.99
 Clothing & Footwear         3.1        3.2      2.96
 Housing, Water,
 Electricity, Gas & Fuels   -1.1       -2.1     22.46
 Furnishing, Household
 Equipment                   2.2        2.4      3.22
 Health                      2.7        2.7      2.99
 Transport                  -0.5       -1.3      7.81
 Communication              -0.1        0.0      2.26
 Recreation & Culture        1.2        1.2      1.93
 Education                   5.1        5.1      3.37
 Restaurant, Misc Goods &
 Services                    1.5        1.6     12.03
 Note: Weights were derived from the state's 2006 Family Income
and Expenditures Survey

    KEY POINTS:
    - The central bank has a 2-4 percent inflation target for
2015-2018.
    - The latest money supply data showed M3 annual growth in
January at 7.7 percent, after peaking at more than 30 percent
early in 2014. 
    - Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Amando Tetangco told
Reuters on Feb. 23 the central bank can afford to leave its
policy settings on hold for most of this year, and the timing
and magnitude of any interest rate hike would not be determined
by the U.S. Federal Reserve's actions. 
    - The central bank tightened monetary policy five times in
as many meetings last year to rein in liquidity and tame price
pressures. Aside from raising the main policy and special
deposit account rates, it also raised banks' reserve
requirements.
    - The Philippines was the second fastest-growing economy in
Asia after China in 2014, having gathered momentum in the final
quarter of the year. It has a 7-8 percent growth target this
year after growth of 6.1 percent last year. 

 (Reporting by Erik dela Cruz; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)