BSP sees faster inflation in February

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, February 26) — The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas sees inflation to accelerate this month due to higher fuel and fish prices.

The central bank on Friday said February's inflation could settle at 4.7%, within its forecast range of 4.3% to 5.1%. The projection is quicker than the 4.2% inflation rate recorded in January.

"Upward price pressure for the month emanate from the continued uptick in global crude oil prices and elevated fish prices," the BSP said.

The government's move to implement a price ceiling on pork and chicken in the National Capital Region, coupled with stable rice prices and lower power rates, are seen to dampen inflation pressures this February, the BSP added.

The Department of Agriculture earlier said the country has a deficit of about 400,000 metric tons of pork due to the African Swine Fever and market manipulators. Because of this, pork prices skyrocketed from ₱320 to ₱400, forcing the government to impose a price ceiling covering not just public markets, but also imported pork products being sold in supermarkets.

RELATED: Duterte orders 60-day price cap on pork, chicken products in Metro Manila

Meralco, the country's biggest power distributor, meanwhile, has slashed rates by ₱0.0704 per kilowatt hour (kWh) to P8.6793 this month.

RELATED: Meralco rates down in February

The Philippine Statistics Authority will release the latest inflation data on March 5.