Headline inflation rose to 3.4 percent in March from 3.3 percent in February, and was within the BSP’s forecast range of 3.0-3.8 percent for the month. The resulting year-to-date inflation rate of 3.2 percent is also in line with the Government’s target range of 3.0 percent ± 1.0 percentage point for 2017. Likewise, core inflation, which excludes certain volatile food and energy items to measure underlying price pressures, went up to 2.9 percent from 2.7 percent in the previous month. Month-on-month seasonally-adjusted headline inflation meanwhile increased to 0.4 percent in March from 0.3 percent in February.
The uptick in headline inflation was traced mainly to higher prices of selected non-food items, namely higher electricity rates for all regions, and upward price adjustments in domestic petroleum products, particularly gasoline, diesel, kerosene, and LPG. Meanwhile, food inflation eased as higher inflation rates of rice, meat, as well as oils and fats were offset by lower inflation rates of fish, fruit, vegetables, and sugar.
Governor Amando M. Tetangco, Jr. noted that the latest inflation outturn continues to be consistent with the BSP’s assessment of a manageable inflation outlook over the policy horizon, with average inflation expected to be within the Government’s 2-4 percent target range for the year. Looking ahead, the BSP will remain watchful of evolving price trends and will continue to assess its monetary policy stance in support of its primary mandate of delivering price stability conducive to a balanced and sustainable economic growth.