Bangko Sentral hikes key borrowing rate for 2nd time this year


Posted at Jun 20 2018 04:09 PM

MANILA -- The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas on Wednesday raised its benchmark interest rate for the second time this year, as consumer prices continued to rise.

The BSP's Monetary Board increased the overnight borrowing rate by 25 basis points, for a total of 50 basis points this year. Before the key rate was hiked last May 10, the board had kept it steady for nearly 4 years.

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Nestor Espenilla said during the eve of Wednesday's policy meeting that monetary authorities were "ready to adjust further as necessary."

Espenilla said inflation was nearing its peak, after holding it its highest level in 5 years in April and May. It is expected to average 3.4 percent in 2019, he said.

The Bangko Sentral's move came a week after the Federal Reserve raised interest rates in the US and signaled a faster policy tightening pace.