MANILA -- The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas is poised to resume cutting interest rates on Thursday, with economic growth unlikely to rebound sharply and as inflation cools further, a Reuters poll showed.
Economists polled by Reuters unanimously predicted that the BSP's Monetary Board would cut the overnight borrowing rate by 25-basis points on Thursday, hours after second quarter gross domestic product growth numbers are announced.
The median forecast of economists was for a 5.9-percent growth in GDP, from 5.6 percent in the previous quarter, marking the second straight quarter of growth below 6 percent.
Inflation cooled further to 2.4 percent in July, from 2.7 percent in the previous month, staying within the BSP's 2 to 4 percent target for the sixth straight month.
The BSP hiked interest rates by a total of 175 basis points last year to rein in inflation, which peaked at a near-decade high of 6.7 percent in September and October.
However, with inflation no longer a worry, the central bank began to unwind its tighter policy with a quarter-point rate cut in May, the first since October 2012, to shore up the economy against risks including simmering US-China trade tensions.
Some economists expect more policy rate easing before the year ends and further cuts in banks’ reserve requirement ratio (RRR) after a 200 bps phased reduction in RRR through July, to spur greater economic activity. -- with reports from Reuters