by Neil Jerome Morales
MANILA (Reuters) – The Philippines’ annual inflation accelerated to 6.9 percent in September, the fastest pace in four years Inflation in September was higher than the 6.7% forecast in a Reuters poll, mainly driven by high food and utility prices, keeping the nine-month The average inflation rate rose to 5.1% in September, the statistics agency said on Wednesday, well below the central bank’s 2% to 4% target.
Faster-than-expected inflation reinforces expectations for the Bank of the Philippines (BSP)), which has raised interest rates by a total of 225 basis points so far this year, to be in November and more rate hikes at the December meeting.
“The central bank is prepared to take further policy action to move inflation on a target-aligned path over the medium term, consistent with its primary objective of promoting price stability,” the central bank said in a statement.
ING Bank economist Nicholas Mapa said in a statement that he expects the central bank to raise the key policy rate, currently at 4.% 50 Set basis points in each of the remaining two meetings this year to keep inflation in check.
Inflation could accelerate further in October as food prices will remain high due to crop losses from recent typhoons, in line with expectations the statistics agency said on Wednesday, Mapa said .
Core inflation, which excludes volatile food and fuel items, eased to 4.5% in September from 4.6% in August, the statistics agency said.