Headline inflation decelerated to 3.2 percent in March from 3.4 percent in February, and was within the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ forecast of 2.8-3.7 percent for the month, a press release from the BSP said.
The resulting year-to-date average inflation rate of 3.2 percent was also within the Government’s inflation target range of 4.0 percent ± 1.0 percent for 2013.
Core inflation, which excludes certain food and energy items to measure generalized price pressures, was steady at 3.8 percent. Month-on-month headline inflation was lower at 0.1 percent in March from 0.3 percent in February, the press release said.
Moderate food inflation due to ample domestic supply of key food items, particularly vegetables, fruits, corn, fish, sugar, and oils, led to moderate headline inflation in March.
Slower price increases for non-food items, due largely to the reduction in the prices of domestic petroleum products, also helped push down inflation for the month, the press release said.
BSP Governor Amando Tetangco, Jr. noted that the lower inflation reading in March is consistent with the BSP’s assessment of a manageable inflation outlook over the policy horizon, with average inflation expected to settle within the 4.0 percent ± 1.0 percent target range based on latest forecasts.
He assured the public that the BSP will continue its close watch on emerging price and output conditions to ensure that monetary policy settings remain consistent with the price stability objective while being supportive of non-inflationary growth, the press release said.*