Philippine March inflation eases to 2.4 pct, slower than forecast

lunes 6 de abril de 2015 21:12 GYT
 

MANILA, April 7 (Reuters) - The Philippines' annual
inflation came in slower than expected in March, giving the
central bank more leeway to keep its policy rates steady. 
    Consumer prices rose by an annual 2.4 percent in March, the
Philippine Statistics Authority said, compared with February's
2.5 percent and a 2.6 percent rise predicted by analysts in a
Reuters poll.
    But core inflation rate climbed 2.7 percent, the fastest
since October's 3.2 percent.
    The central bank had a 2.1-2.9 percent forecast for March.
It has an official inflation target of 2-4 percent this year.
    
    Change in pct     Mar   Feb   Jan   Dec    Nov   Oct   Sept 
 Headline (yr/yr)     2.4   2.5   2.4   2.7    3.7   4.3   4.4 
 Headline (mth/mth)  -0.1   0.1   0.4  -0.2   -0.1   0.1   0.1  
 
 Core (yr/yr)         2.7   2.5   2.2   2.3    2.7   3.2   3.4  
 

INFLATION DATA BREAKDOWN

          Items              Mar        Feb     Weight
                                 (yr/yr)        (in pct)
 Food & Non-Alcoholic
 Beverages                   4.3        4.8      38.98
    -- Food alone            4.4        4.9      NA
 Alcoholic Beverages &
 Tobacco                     3.9        3.9      1.99
 Clothing & Footwear         3.0        3.1      2.96
 Housing, Water,
 Electricity, Gas & Fuels   -0.2       -1.1     22.46
 Furnishing, Household
 Equipment                   2.1        2.2      3.22
 Health                      2.5        2.7      2.99
 Transport                  -0.2       -0.5      7.81
 Communication              -0.1       -0.1      2.26
 Recreation & Culture        1.1        1.2      1.93
 Education                   5.1        5.1      3.37
 Restaurant, Misc Goods &
 Services                    1.5        1.5     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 central bank kept its benchmark interest rate steady
for a fourth straight meeting on March 26, with inflation
expected to stay well within its comfort range this year and
next while economic growth is forecast to remain robust.
 
    - Unlike some of its neighbours which have eased policy
recently to spur growth, the Philippines is expected to remain
one of the fastest-growing economies in Asia, with the
government targeting a 7-8 percent expansion this year.
    - Money supply posted a faster annual pace of growth of 8.5
percent in February but the rate remained well-below the more
than 30 percent peak early in 2014.   

 (Reporting by Erik dela Cruz and Karen Lema; Editing by Kim
Coghill)