Inflation seen averaging 3.9%By Ronnel W. Domingo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—The increase in the prices of consumer goods in the Philippines is expected to remain stable for the remainder of the year and is seen to average 3.9 percent, according to the International Institute of Finance.
The Washington DC-based think tank said inflation in the Philippines was expected to ease further to 3.3 percent in 2013.
Data from the National Statistics Office showed that inflation as of September averaged 3.6 percent.
In a research not on emerging Asian economies, the IIF also said the Philippine economy was expected to grow faster next year at 6.5 percent than the projected 5.7 percent this year.
The IIF’s 2012 economic growth forecast for the Philippines is higher than the International Monetary Fund’s 4.8 percent, World Bank’s 5 percent and Asian Development Bank’s 5.5 percent.
The government is targeting a range of 5 percent to 6 percent this year.
“In the Philippines, past budget restraint and low public debt had given the government greater latitude to use fiscal stimulus this year,” the IIF said.
“The central bank took the opportunity of low inflation and a stable balance of payment to cut policy rates by 25 basis points in the first quarter and third quarter, bringing the overnight lending rate to a record low of 5.75 percent,” it added.
The IIF also noted that the rise in inflation from 2.8 percent in June to 3.8 percent in August brought actual numbers within the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ target range of 3 percent to 5 percent—both for this year and next.
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