Philippine Inflation Approaching 7% Signals More Rate Hikes By Bloomberg

Philippine Inflation Approaching 7% Signals More Rate Hikes

Philippine Inflation Approaching 7% Signals More Rate Hikes

(Bloomberg) — Consumer prices in the Philippines rose at the fastest pace in more than nine years in September, paving the way for the central bank to forge ahead with interest-rate hikes.

Inflation accelerated to 6.7 percent from 6.4 percent in August, the Philippine Statistics Authority said in Manila on Friday. That compared with the 6.8 percent median forecast of economists in a Bloomberg survey.

Consumer prices started spiking at the beginning of the year following tax increases on fuel, sugary drinks and cigarettes — the increases swiftly moved to rice, the nation’s staple food, due to supply shortages. On top of that, a more than 8 percent slump in the currency this year is adding to the inflationary pressure.

“Pressure is still rising and the central bank may raise rates by another 25 basis points this quarter,” said Eugenia Fabon Victorino, head of Asia strategy at Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB in Singapore. “We know that inflation will breach the 2018 target, but what’s important is whether or not the breach will extend to next year.”

The central bank has delivered 150 basis points of interest-rate increases since May, and forecasts annual inflation will exceed a target of 2 percent to 4 percent until next year.

Click here to read about the central bank’s most recent interest-rate hike

The peso was little changed at 54.3 per dollar as of Friday morning in Manila. The benchmark stock index fell 0.1 percent.

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