MANILA – Philippine annual inflation came in at 4.9% in October versus the previous month’s 6.1%, the statistics agency said on Tuesday, reflecting slower increases in food prices.
Economists in a Reuters poll had forecast annual inflation of 5.6% in October, within the central bank’s 5.1% to 5.9% projection for the month.
October inflation brought the year-to-date average inflation to 6.4%, still outside the central bank’s 2%-4% target for the year.
The slower inflation in October could ease pressure on the central bank to increase interest rates further after it delivered an off-cycle hike of 25 basis points on Oct. 26, on worries that inflation could spiral out of hand.
Philippines Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno, a member of the central bank’s policymaking Monetary Board said on Monday he would vote to keep the benchmark interest rate steady at 6.5%. — Reuters