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BSP expects slower inflation in March within 7.4% to 8.2%

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) is expecting inflation to continue a downward trajectory this month on the back of lower fuel and food prices.

In its month-ahead forecast, the BSP said it projected inflation—the rate of increase in the prices of goods and services—to settle within the range of 7.4% to 8.2%.

The central bank’s projection is lower than the 8.6% inflation print recorded in February.

“The recent rollback in domestic petroleum prices, lower prices of fruits and vegetables as well as the decline in chicken and sugar prices, are expected to contribute to easing price pressures during the month,” the BSP said.

However, the central bank said that upward price pressures may emanate from higher electricity rates in Meralco-serviced areas as well as increased prices of other key food items such as pork, fish, eggs, and rice.

This month, the Manila Electric Company's overall household rate was increased by P0.5453 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) to P11.4348 per kWh from February’s P10.8895 per kWh.

The upward adjustment translates to an increment of P109 in the total bill of a typical household consuming 200 kWh.

“Going forward, the BSP remains prepared to respond appropriately to continuing inflation risks in line with its data-dependent approach to monetary policy formulation,” the central bank said.—AOL, GMA Integrated News