June inflation estimated at 1.9-2.7%

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The country’s headline inflation could have eased further to 1.9 percent or picked up to 2.7 percent in June on the back of higher energy and food prices as well as lower cooking gas and electricity rates, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) projected.

Central Bank Governor Benjamin Diokno

“The BSP Department of Economic Research projects June 2020 inflation to settle within the 1.9 to 2.7 percent range,” central bank Governor Benjamin Diokno told reporters in a message on Tuesday.

The range compares with May’s 2.1 percent, but lower than the 2.7 percent posted in June last year.

The Philippine Statistics Authority will release official June inflation data on July 7.

“Higher gasoline, diesel and kerosene prices as well as the uptick in the price of rice due to supply bottlenecks contributed to positive price pressures during the month,” Diokno said.

According to the Department of Energy, local oil companies raised the prices of petroleum products — P1.05 a liter for gasoline, P0.85 a liter for diesel and P0.30 a liter for kerosene — on June 23.

“These could be partly offset by slightly lower LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) price and electricity rate in Meralco (Manila Electric Co.)-serviced areas during the month,” he added.

The downward adjustment in LPG prices, meanwhile, ranged from P0.20 to P0.40 a liter were implemented starting June 1.

Meralco’s per kilowatt-hour (kWh) rate for households consuming 200 kWh monthly eased by P0.1216 centavos last month.

“Looking ahead, the BSP will continue to monitor evolving economic and financial conditions to ensure that the monetary policy stance remains consistent with the BSP’s price stability mandate,” Diokno emphasized.

The Bangko Sentral chief said earlier the latest baseline forecasts indicate that consumer price growth could settle at 2.3 percent this year and 2.6 percent in the next. Both are at the lower end of the government’s target range of 2 to 4 percent.

The central bank has so far trimmed policy rates by a total of 175 basis points this year to bring overnight borrowing, lending and deposit rates to 2.25 percent, 1.75 percent and 2.75 percent, respectively.

Its policy-making Monetary Board is set to review these current rates at their fifth policy meeting this year on August 20.

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