April inflation of 3% is within target



By Rose de la Cruz


Bangko Sentral Governor Benjamin Diokno said that the 3 percent inflation last April is consistent with BSP’s expectations that inflation would settle at a target range of 2 to 4 percent for 2019 and 2020.


However, the continued increase in global crude oil prices and possibility of a prolonged El Niño episode could be a source of upside price pressures over the near term.


The weakening global economic environment could present downside risks to inflation. Against these upside and downside risks, the BSP continues to keep a close watch over price developments in the country and shall consider all relevant data at its next monetary policy meeting on 9 May 2019 to ensure that the monetary policy stance remains consistent with the BSP's primary mandate of price stability conducive to a balanced and sustainable growth of the economy."


Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia said the government continues to rein in the overall price increases in the country with headline inflation rate easing to a 16-month low in April 2019.


The Philippine Statistics Authority reported today that headline inflation further slowed to 3 percent in April from 3.3 percent in March.  


This was slightly below the median market forecast of 3.1 percent, and well within the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ (BSP) forecast of 2.7 to 3.5 percent for the period.


“The recent inflation reading validates our efforts towards stabilizing inflation so that the country’s buoyant economic growth, along with key reforms, remains unimpeded,” said Secretary of Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia.


This also brought down the year-to-date inflation to 3.6 percent, which is within BSP’s inflation target for 2019.


Notably, food inflation slowed to 3 percent as price adjustments in key food items such as rice, meat, and fish further slackened.


Reflecting the trend of overall price increases, inflation in the National Capital Region slowed for the eighth consecutive month to 3.1 percent in April 2019.


“The continued low inflation of rice can be attributed to the stable rice supply in the country, with more imported rice expected to arrive in the country as the Rice Liberalization Act takes effect,” the Pernia noted.


The law, which lifts the quantitative import restriction on rice, is expected to keep rice prices low and more affordable especially for low-income households


However, Pernia said that the government should remain watchful of upside risks to inflation such as the ongoing El Niño phenomenon, possible increase in utility rates, and volatility in international oil prices.

“Given unstable global oil prices, the government should prioritize rolling out the second tranche of its social mitigating measures under the TRAIN law, such as the unconditional cash transfer and Pantawid Pasada, especially now that the 2019 national budget has already been signed into law,” he added.



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Sunday, 25 August 2019
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