Inflation concerns remain, BSP to 'consider' further adjustments: Espenilla


Posted at Jun 05 2018 10:42 AM | Updated as of Jun 05 2018 11:21 AM

MANILA - Inflation remains a "concern" even as the rise in consumer prices in April was slower than expected, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Nestor Espenilla said Tuesday.

Monetary authorities will "consider what further adjustments are necessary to firmly anchor inflationary expectations" and meet their target, Espenilla said in a statement.

The consumer price index rose 4.6 percent in April, below the 4.9-percent forecast of economists in Reuters poll and the Department of Finance. The BSP's think tank had predicted an increase of 4.6 to 5.4 percent.

Average inflation of 4.1 percent in the first 5 months of the year is still above the BSP's 2 to 4 percent target for the year, "but maybe not going to be as bad as some might think," Espenilla said.

"The inflation outlook continues to be a concern and requires close attention," Espenilla said.

The BSP last May 10 raised the benchmark borrowing rate by 25 basis points, the first adjustment since September 2014 after inflation in April reached 4.5 percent.

Espenilla said there were signs that inflation was "slowing and may be close to peak."

Oil prices "seem to have peaked" while food price inflation appeared to be "slowing down," Espenilla said.