February Inflation Rises Slightly to 2.5 Percent

Manila—(PHStocks)—Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP)—Headline inflation increased slightly to 2.5 percent year-on-year in February from 2.4 percent in January, but was within the BSP’s range forecast of 2.2-3.0 percent for the month. This brought the year-to-date average inflation rate to 2.4 percent, within the Government’s inflation range target of 3.0 percent ±1.0 percentage point for 2015.

Similarly, core inflation—which excludes certain volatile food and energy items to better capture underlying price pressures—rose to 2.5 percent in February from 2.2 percent in the previous month. Meanwhile, on a month-on-month seasonally-adjusted basis, inflation eased to 0.1 percent in February from 0.2 percent in January.

The higher February inflation reading was driven largely by the higher prices of selected non-food items. In particular, non-food inflation increased as a result of upward adjustments in electricity rates as well as higher prices for transport services. In contrast, food inflation decelerated on ample domestic supply of key food items such as rice, corn, meat, fruits, vegetables, and sugar.

Officer-In-Charge Vicente S. Aquino said that the actual inflation in February continues to affirm the BSP’s assessment of a manageable inflation environment over the policy horizon. Going forward, the BSP will continue to closely monitor developments on both the domestic and global fronts to ensure price stability conducive to balanced and sustainable economic growth.

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