BSP projects December inflation to hit 7.8% to 8.6%

THE Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) on Thursday said it projects inflation in December to hit within the range of 7.8 to 8.6 percent.

The central bank said higher electricity rates, an uptick in the prices of agricultural commodities, elevated prices of meat, fish products, and LPG may push the inflation rate higher.

“Meanwhile, the reduction in petroleum and rice prices as well as the peso appreciation could contribute to easing price pressures for the month,” the BSP said.

November inflation hit a 14-year high of eight percent as food prices continued to rise.

November’s inflation was the highest since the 9.1 percent rate in November 2008 and was within the central bank’s forecast of 7.4 to 8.2 percent.

The average inflation for the year is now at 5.6 percent.

“The BSP continues to monitor closely emerging price developments to enable timely intervention that could help prevent the further broadening of price pressures, in accordance with the BSP’s price stability mandate,” the central bank said.

During its last policy meeting for the year, the BSP raised its benchmark interest rate by another 50 basis points to a 14-year high of 5.5 percent to tame rising inflation.