Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Philippine Inflation Drops to 6.4 Percent in March

Media Releases
Bangko Sentral

Headline inflation dropped to 6.4 percent year-on-year in March from 7.3 percent in February. This brings the year-to-date average to 6.9 percent, lower than the 7.1 percent average a month earlier. Month-on-month headline inflation also declined in March to 0.1 percent from 0.5 percent in February. Likewise, core inflation, which excludes specific food and energy items to measure generalized price pressures, was lower at 5.6 percent year-on-year in March from 6.4 percent in February. The inflation outturn for March was within the 5.9-6.8 percent forecast of the BSP.

All major commodity groups registered lower inflation rates in March. Lower electricity rates in March led to negative year-on-year inflation for light. In addition, the rollbacks in the prices of diesel and gasoline products in March as well as the recent reduction in jeepney fares led to negative year-on-year inflation for transportation and communication services. Meanwhile, food inflation was lower due mainly to the lower year-on-year inflation for rice, meat, and miscellaneous food.

Officer-In-Charge Armando L. Suratos noted that the slowdown of inflation in March, together with the within-target inflation outlook for the policy horizon, are some of the important factors that that the BSP will consider as it assesses its monetary policy actions in the near term.

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