MANILA - The Philippine central bank expects annual inflation in May to be anywhere between 3.9 and 4.7 percent, with the main price pressure in the month likely coming from higher food costs, its governor said on Wednesday.
Annual headline inflation in April was 4.1 percent, slightly faster than the market consensus on higher food and utility costs.
The forecast for May takes into account higher rice and sugar prices, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Amando Tetangco said in a mobile text message to reporters. He also said these could be offset by lower petroleum costs and electricity rates.
"The BSP will continue to keep a watchful eye on the risks to price stability, with a view to implementing appropriate policy actions as necessary," Tetangco said.
The Philippine central bank kept its benchmark rate steady on May 8 but raised banks' reserve requirements for the second straight meeting, as expected, amid concerns that persistently high liquidity could stoke inflation.
May inflation data is due on June 5. The central bank's next policy review is on June 19.