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2017 inflation still benign – Central bank

MANILA, Aug. 4 — Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Nestor Espenilla Jr. said domestic inflation remains benign despite the slight uptick last July to 2.8 percent from the previous month’s 2.7 percent.

“The July inflation reading confirms our assessment of continuing benign inflation conditions,” he told journalists in a Viber message Friday.

“We’re on track to comfortably meeting our 2017-2018 inflation target,” he added, referring to the central bank’s 2 percent to 4 percent target for this year until 2020.

The inflation level last July brought the year-to-date average to 3.1 percent. The year-ago level is lower at 1.9 percent.

Its increase last month was due to faster inflation of utility rates and of the transportation sub-index.

Last June, BSP’s policy-making Monetary Board (MB) cut the central bank’s average inflation forecast for this year to 3.1 percent from 3.4 percent on account of the expected lower path of inflation, robust domestic economic growth, liquidity and credit conditions that remain supportive of growth, and improving global economic prospects.

For 2018, the central bank’s average inflation forecast is lower at 3 percent.

Core inflation, which excludes volatile food and oil, went down to 2.1 percent last July from the previous month’s 2.6 percent, bringing the average to date to 2.7 percent. (Joann S. Villanueva/PNA)

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