MANILA -- Inflation could peak at 7.4 percent in December, with food prices likely to "edge up" due to supply issues, an economist for Standard Chartered Bank said Wednesday.
Consumer prices rose 6.7 percent in September, below forecasts and the government said price spikes could be easing.
The government should increase the supply of rice, fish and vegetables in the market to further temper price increases, Standard Chartered Bank Asia economist Chidu Narayanan told ANC.
"I think it’s even more important to focus on food inflation at this point. Food is the bigger driver of inflation, fuel prices while adding to the pressures, the more important factor is rice and fish inflation and both of them are supply side issues," Narayanan said.
Food items including rice account for half of the top 10 drivers of inflation in September out of the 100 items surveyed, Finance Undersecretary Karl Chua told a Senate hearing on Wednesday.
Narayanan said it would be "a much better" scenario if the inflation is under control.
Standard Chartered expects the Philippine economy to grow at a "still very strong" 6.2 percent this year, Naranayan said.