MANILA - The Philippine central bank raised its inflation forecasts for this year and next, but said the faster pace of price increases is not expected to force a rise in interest rates just yet.
Typhoon-related supply disruptions could send consumer prices higher in November and December and push up this year's average inflation to 3.2 percent from a previous estimate of 3.0 percent, central bank Governor Amando Tetangco said in an email to reporters late on Monday.
Tetangco also said inflation next year will likely average 4.5 percent, higher than a 4.0 percent forecast in October, but well within the central bank's 3-5 percent target for 2013 and 2014.
"These show that we may not yet need to adjust interest rate policy settings. But we are mindful of second-round effects, as well as global developments," Tetangco said.
"We are ready to tweak settings as appropriate to ensure we are able to keep prices low and stable."
Tetangco also said this year's growth target of 6-7 percent could still be achieved as rehabilitation efforts make up for lost production.
A super typhoon that devastated the central Philippines could slow the country's economic growth in the fourth quarter, but full-year growth will likely fall between 6.5 percent and 7.0 percent, socioeconomic planning chief Arsenio Balisacan said last week.
The central bank meets for the last time this year on Dec. 12. It kept the overnight borrowing rate steady at a record low of 3.5 percent and the rate on its special deposit account unchanged at 2.0 percent last month.