MANILA - Inflation likely settled within the 3.7 to 4.5-percent range in February, a Bangko Sentral think tank said Thursday.
Higher local oil prices and upward electricity rate adjustments provided upside price pressures to inflation during the month but are likely offset by lower prices of rice and other agricultural commodities, BSP's Department of Economic Research said in a statement.
Prices of rice and other agricultural commodities have eased given the appreciation of the peso and the ample supply brought by the recent harvest season and the arrival of imports, it said.
The BSP said it would continue to be watchful of evolving price trends to ensure that the monetary policy stance remains appropriate in maintaining price stability conducive to economic growth and employment.
Inflation in January decelerated further to 4.4 percent compared to 5.1 percent in December, giving the BSP scope to keep interest rates steady during its first policy meeting of the year.