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March inflation hits 3.7% on food price surge

By: Ian Cigaral - | April 05,2024 - 10:58 AM

INQUIRER file photo

INQUIRER file photo

MANILA, Philippines — Inflation rose to 3.7 percent, up from 3.4 percent in February, mainly driven by increased prices of essential food items such as vegetables, meat, and rice, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

Despite this increase, inflation has remained within the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ (BSP) target range of 2 to 4 percent for four consecutive months.

The faster inflation would likely convince the BSP to stay hawkish—or keep rates higher—for much longer to avoid upsetting inflation expectations.

READ: Philippine central bank governor rules out easing rates ‘soon’

How does inflation impact local traders? 

At its meeting in February, the Monetary Board left its key rate unchanged at 6.5 percent—the highest in almost 17 years—in what the BSP called a “prudent” move amid persistent risks to the inflation outlook.

The BSP had said inflation would ease in the first quarter before overshooting the target anew in the second quarter as favorable base effects fade. Average price hike is projected to return to the target band in the third quarter to average 3.6 percent this year.

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TAGS: inflation, inflation rate, Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), prices, prices of goods

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