Headline inflation slowed down to 3.9 percent year-on-year in March from 4.1 percent in February. The March inflation reading was within the BSP’s forecast range of 3.7-4.6 percent for the month. The resulting year-to-date average inflation rate of 4.1 percent was also within the Government’s inflation target range of 4.0 percent ± 1.0 percentage point for 2014. Core inflation—which excludes certain food and energy items to better capture underlying price pressures—decelerated to 2.8 percent in March from 3.0 percent in the previous month. On a month-on-month seasonally-adjusted basis, consumer price index went up by 0.1 percent.
The continued deceleration of headline inflation in March was traced mainly to the slower increases in the prices of non-food items. This was attributed to the downward adjustment in electricity charges and price reductions in LPG and kerosene products. By contrast, food inflation increased slightly as most food commodities, particularly rice, meat, fruits, and oils posted higher prices due to limited domestic supply.
Governor Amando M. Tetangco, Jr. said that the inflation print for March is in line with the BSP’s assessment of a manageable inflation environment over the policy horizon. Going forward, the BSP will remain vigilant in monitoring developments in both the global and domestic fronts, and stands ready to deploy appropriate measures as needed to ensure sustainable, non-inflationary, and inclusive economic growth.