Philippine Central Bank Will Use Every Tools to Curb Inflation

The Philippine central bank said on Thursday that it was ready to follow the necessary policy, as a high pressure of consumer prices had put the inflation rate in December to the highest level since 2008.

The consumer prices index rose  8.1% in December from last year, largely pressured by rising food and energy prices.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) projected the inflation rate could be 7.8% – 8.6% in December, saying  that upside risks continued to dominate the inflation outlook up to 2023, while high prices would remain broadly balanced in 2024.

Core inflation, which excludes the volatile food and energy price, rose 6.9% in December from 6.5% from November. Also, food inflation rose 10.6% in December, reflecting the more expensive prices of vegetables, sugar, rice and other agricultural commodities due to weather disturbances and demand in the holiday season.

The benchmark interest rate was ramped up by the central bank by a total 350 basis points last year to control inflation and support the peso depreciation amid the tightening policy from the U.S. Federal Reserve.

On February 16, the BSP will hold a first policy meeting.