Palace confident 'disinflation' to happen soon

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 19 2018 05:53 PM

MANILA - Malacañang on Friday expressed confidence that inflation would taper in the coming months, after the third quarter rate in price increases averaged 6.2 percent, per data that the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) released Friday.

The third quarter average is higher compared to the 4.8 percent in the previous quarter, bringing the year-to-date average to 5 percent, the BSP said.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the government is “confident that a disinflationary trend, as per our economic managers, is about to begin and be felt by our countrymen this month.”

“We are fully aware of the impact of inflation in the third quarter of this year, which, according to our economic managers, is coming from supply-side pressures,” Panelo said in a statement.

Panelo added that President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered concerned members of his Cabinet “to ensure that there is food on every Filipino family’s table.”

He gave assurance to the public that the government continues to address rising prices of basic goods.

Duterte recently issued an order removing non-tariff barriers in the importation of food items.

Prices of some basic goods will not be increased for at least 3 months after the government appealed to manufacturers, the Department of Trade and Industry said in September. 

The rice tariffication bill is also expected to bring down rice prices once enacted, Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno earlier said. President Rodrigo Duterte recently certified the bill as urgent. 

The BSP hiked its benchmark borrowing rate for 4 straight policy meetings this year to address inflation, bringing it to 4.5 percent from 3 percent. It also raised its inflation outlook this year to 5.2 percent and 4.3 percent in 2019.

The inter-agency Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC) in its medium-term macroeconomic assumptions released last Oct. 16, also revised its inflation outlook for 2018 to a range of 4.8 to 5.2 percent from 4 percent to 4.5 percent.

The BSP said inflation could "revert quickly" to the target range as monetary and non-monetary policy measures kick in.