BSP expects April inflation at over 2-yr high

THE Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said the country’s headline inflation rate this month will likely remain at its fastest in over two years.

“The BSP projects April 2021 inflation to settle within the range of 4.2-5.0 percent,” BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno said in a statement on Friday.

Last March, consumer price growth softened to 5.4 percent. A year ago, it was at 2.2 percent.

The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) will release official April inflation data next week.

“Lower prices of domestic petroleum products and key food items, such as fruits and vegetables due to improved supply conditions, are the main sources of downside price pressures during the month,” Diokno said.

According to the Department of Energy (DoE), local oil companies lowered fuel prices on April 13.

Gasoline has decreased by P0.25 per liter, along with the rollback in kerosene by P0.10 per liter.

“However, these could be partly offset by upward adjustment in Meralco electricity rates, coupled with higher prices of pork, fish, and rice,” Diokno added.

Meralco, or the Manila Electric Co., reduced its per-kilowatt-hour (kWh) rate for households consuming 200 kWh monthly by P0.0872 this month.

“Moving forward, the BSP will continue to monitor evolving economic and financial conditions to ensure that the monetary policy stance remains consistent with the BSP’s price stability mandate,” Diokno said.