BSP forecasts inflation to still hit 4% in May

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The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) forecasted that the country’s headline inflation rate will stay at the 4 percent level in May.

 

“The BSP projects May 2021 inflation to settle within the range of 4.0 – 4.8 percent,” the central bank said on Monday.

 

The modest rise in food and nonalcoholic beverage prices held the country’s headline inflation rate at 4.5 percent in April.

 

On Friday, June 4, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) will issue official May inflation figures.

 

“Higher prices of meat and domestic petroleum products along with the upward adjustment in Meralco electricity rates are the main sources of upward price pressures for the month,” the Bangko Sentral said.

 

During the month of May, local oil companies imposed four price increase, according to the Department of Energy (DoE). The most recent adjustment was made on May 25, when gasoline and diesel prices were raised by P0.15 and P0.25 per liter, respectively.

 

In May, Meralco, or the Manila Electric Co., increased its per-kilowatt-hour (kWh) rate for households using 200 kWh per month by P0.1853.

 

“These could be offset by the decline in prices of key food items, such as rice, vegetables, and fish, due to improved supply conditions, along with the appreciation of the peso,” the BSP added.

 

The central bank said it will continue to monitor economic and financial developments in order to ensure that its monetary policy stance is consistent with its price stability mandate.

 

The Monetary Board decided on May 12 to maintain the Bangko Sentral’s overnight borrowing, lending, and deposit rates at their lowest levels, at 2.00 percent, 1.50 percent, and 2.50 percent, respectively.

 

BY MEYNARD DELA CERNA

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