Philippine inflation eased to 7.6% in March
MANILA -Overall inflation in the Philippines slowed down for the second month in a row, posting at 7.6 percent in March from 8.6 percent in February, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority
The March readout is slower than expected, with analysts having forecast 8 percent and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, 7.8 percent.
National Statistician Dennis Mapa said this was mainly due to slower price increases in the food and non-alcoholic beverages group of commodities as well as in transport and housing, utilities and fuel
However, core inflation which excludes items that are considered volatile like food and energy, heated up again to 8 percent in March from 7.8 percent in February
Among 13 commodity groups, five showed faster prices increases, five others showed slower and three showed the same rates as in February.
The March inflation figure makes a pause in the central bank interest rate hikes more likely in the next policy rate-setting meet of the Monetary Board.
The Philippine central bank raised its benchmark interest rate by 25 basis points to 6.25 percent last month
The BSP earlier said its future policy moves would be data-dependent..