MANILA —The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas could pause its interest rate hike streak in the next monetary policy meeting if the consumer price index continues its downward trend in April, BSP Gov. Felipe Medalla said.
Inflation decelerated for the second straight month in March to 7.6 percent from 8.6 percent in February. However, it remains above the 2 to 4 percent target range.
Inflation hit a 14-year high at 8.7 percent in January 2023.
"We are probably pausing in the next meeting, because the inflation prints are very good. If April is a good inflation month, that is three good monthly prints in a row and we would be in a position to pause," Medalla said during an economic briefing in the US.
The BSP hiked the benchmark interest rate by a cumulative 425 basis points to 6.25 percent to tame inflation.
Medalla said inflation could fall back within the 2 to 4 percent range by November in terms of month-on-month print. Average inflation is seen to revert to target by 2024.
However, Medalla noted the still elevated core inflation, which strips out volatile food and energy prices. Core inflation in March accelerated to 8 percent from 7.8 percent the previous month.
— Report from Warren De Guzman, ABS-CBN News