BSP delivers off-cycle rate hike as price pressures build up
MANILA -The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas resumed hiking its policy rate at an off-cycle meeting on Thursday in a bid to bring inflation back to its target as price pressures continue to build up.
The Monetary Board raised the key rate by 25 basis points to 6.5 percent after what analysts called a “hawkish pause” for four straight meetings.
The last time the BSP fired off an off-cycle rate increase was on July 14, 2022, when the depreciation of the peso to record-lows forced monetary authorities to deliver a jumbo 75-bp hike.
The MB was not supposed to convene for a policy meeting until Nov 16. However, BSP Governor Eli Remolona Jr. had repeatedly telegraphed to the market a few days ago that the central bank was not ruling out the possibility of additional tightening at an off-cycle meeting to prevent another year of above-target price growth.
This was after inflation sizzled to a four-month high of 6.1 percent in September on the back of expensive food items.