Monday, 2 March 2009

Manila c. bank says has leeway to ease policy further

Thomson Reuters

MANILA, March 2 (Reuters) - The Philippine central bank has leeway to ease policy rates further as long as the outlook on inflation and price expectations remain favourable, central bank deputy governor Diwa Guinigundo said on Monday.

'If we have the flexibility afforded to us by a favourable inflation outlook and well-anchored inflation expectations, monetary policy has flexibility of further easing,' Guinigundo told a business forum hosted by the central bank.

The government will announce official February inflation data on March 5, the same day the Monetary Boards meets to set policy rates. The central bank said earlier on Monday annual inflation in February was likely to come in at the high end of its forecast range of 6.6 percent and 7.5 percent due to a weak peso.

(Reporting by Karen Lema; Editing by Kim Coghill)

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