‘Inflation yet to peak despite easing in February’

Moody’s Analytics and New York-based GlobalSource Partners believe inflation has not yet peaked in the Philippines despite easing slightly to 8.6 percent in February from a fresh 14-year high of 8.7 percent in January......»»

Category: financeSource: philstar philstarMar 19th, 2023

Marcos gov’t pledges action on high food prices

High food prices in the Philippines have pushed inflation to a five-month peak, officials said Thursday, increasing pressure on the government to stop the country's neediest going hungry. Farming subsidies and food stamps for the poor are among government efforts to rein in or mitigate price increases, which have dented the popularity of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. "The government is committed to providing targeted assistance to affected vulnerable segments of the population while food prices remain elevated," Economic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said in a statement announcing last month's consumer prices data. The inflation rate of 6.1 percent was up from 5.3 percent a month earlier. Last month Marcos put a controversial price cap on rice, a national staple, to support poor households. He lifted the price controls on Wednesday, saying the ongoing harvest was easing pressure on supply. Balisacan cited a food stamps program launched last week, the country's first, that provides 3,000 pesos ($53) a month for select "food poor" households, as well as families with pregnant women or nursing mothers. He said the government was also giving a 10,000-peso cash subsidy to 78,000 farmers, a separate 5,000-peso financial aid to rice farmers and fuel subsidies to more than 74,000 public utility vehicles. Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. chief economist Michael Ricafort said increasing inflation was particularly linked to rice prices, crop damage from typhoons earlier this year and a weakening peso that hiked import prices. Rice is a staple in the country of 110 million people, but the nation cannot produce enough and is one of the world's top importers of the grain. Marcos suffered a 15-point drop, to 65 percent, in his popularity rating in a nationwide poll by the Manila-based independent outfit Pulse Asia last month, compared with June. The survey was made after the president imposed rice price controls. A separate poll showed inflation was the top concern among those surveyed. The post Marcos gov’t pledges action on high food prices appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 5th, 2023

Central banks in no rush to cut interest rates

Investors were hoping to hear central banks finally signal this week that they were close to being done raising interest rates in their battle against inflation. Instead, policymakers indicated that high rates are here for a while yet, with more hikes on the cards and few, if any, cuts in the near future. The US Federal Reserve set the tone on Wednesday when it paused its rate-hike campaign but caused a stir by leaving the door open to another increase before the end of the year. The central bank also unsettled investors by saying that only two cuts were expected next year instead of four as anticipated. The Fed has more room to keep its "hawkish" stance as the US economy has performed better than feared despite the rate increases. This firm position is shared by other central banks. Norway's rate hike Thursday was anticipated, but it also warned further tightening was "likely" in December, while ruling out any easing before next year. Growth or inflation  This firm tone came "as a surprise to the markets," which have "decided that the peak" of rate hikes is "happening right now," HSBC economist Fabio Balboni told AFP, even though "central banks' communications leave the door open to the possibility to further hikes". It leaves "real uncertainty about the level of inflation next year", he said. Their decision "reflects a compromise between growth and inflation", he added. The rate hikes raise the cost of credit for businesses and consumers, which theoretically in turn reduces demand and inflationary pressures. But if demand slows too much, it runs the risk of triggering a recession. Faced with this dilemma, the European Central Bank (ECB) chose inflation-limiting measures, with a 10th consecutive rate hike. That took its benchmark rate to 4.0 percent, the highest since 1999. "We can't say we have peaked," ECB president Christine Lagarde said, although other officials indicated that the cycle of raising rates might be coming to a close. "Our future decisions will ensure that the key ECB interest rates will be set at sufficiently restrictive levels for as long as necessary," the bank's chief economist Philip Lane said Thursday in New York. Return to lower rates  There are other signs, however, that rates are reaching their peak. The Bank of England on Thursday announced its first pause on raising rates since December 2021, following a slight decline in UK inflation in August. Switzerland and Japan -- like half of all central banks -- have also chosen to halt raising rates in the past 10 days. "We expect no more rate hikes in the future" for the US, England and Europe central banks, said Balboni. Jennifer McKeown of Capital Economics said she expected the last hikes to come in the fourth quarter, and that the easing cycle would take hold as 2024 approaches. "By this time next year, we anticipate that 21 out of the world's 30 major central banks will be cutting interest rates," she wrote. Although Balboni, taking a more measured stance, said "in the context of weak growth, it will be very complicated to reduce rates" while inflation remains "too high". Instead, he believes reductions to US rates won't be seen until the third quarter of 2024, while the rest of the world will have to wait until 2025 for rate relief. The post Central banks in no rush to cut interest rates appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsSep 22nd, 2023

Inflation likely went up in August

Most economists believe inflation likely accelerated in August to at least five percent, while some see the rise in prices easing slightly after cooling for six straight months to 4.7 percent in July from a peak of 8.7 percent in January......»»

Category: financeSource:  philstarRelated NewsSep 4th, 2023

Inflation seen easing further

Economists believe that inflation further cooled for the third straight month in April after easing to a six-month low of 7.6 percent in March from 8.6 percent in February......»»

Category: financeSource:  philstarRelated NewsApr 30th, 2023

Phl topbills Asia as global dynamo

The country will continue setting the pace for economic expansion in the region which is being considered the engine of global growth for the coming years. Based on the projections of First Metro Investment Corp. or FMIC, the investment arm of major lender Metrobank, the economy will show a robust performance in the first quarter. Figures showed that growth in employment by February reached 8.6 percent led by the services sector which increased by 11.6 percent. The latest FMIC report supported the International Monetary Fund projections that the Philippine economy will sustain its momentum and outpace other Asian countries this year. In its World Economic Outlook (April 2023), the IMF raised the country’s growth forecast from five to six percent, the highest in Asia, while, in contrast, lowering the global growth projection from 2.9 percent to 2.8 percent. Manufacturing PMI in March reflected expansion for the 14th consecutive month. National government spending on operating and capital costs also had growth of 12.2 percent for the year until April, not readily visible from the weak total public spending due to a beneficial sharp reduction in interest payments (-13.4 percent) and allotments to local government units (-14.8 percent). The inflation rate in March slowed to 7.6 percent from 8.6 percent a month earlier due to a -0.3 percent monthly decline in the consumer price index or CPI. On top of these, business sentiment jumped to 34 percent towards the first quarter from 23.9 percent in the previous quarter, and towards the next 12 months, optimism surged to 61.9 percent from 46.2 percent. “We expect a more robust economy in the first quarter compared with projections of most analysts of a GDP growth of 7.1 percent from a year ago albeit with a little downside risk,” the report noted. The income tax cut and the downward trend in inflation should provide support although the recent crude oil price surge (due to a huge OPEC production cut) would clip that partially. FMIC expects the infrastructure buildup through public-private partnerships to be a growth driver. “Government and private sector through PPP will have ramped up infrastructure spending after the usual hesitancy of agencies in the first month. In short, domestic demand will again lead the economy,” the FMIC report stated. It said external factors may drag overall growth as exports have tanked in the first three months while import volumes of petroleum products have risen due to lower prices. Inflation should ease further to an average of 6.6 percent in the second quarter compared to last year despite higher crude oil prices and weakening further to a low five percent by September. The peso-dollar rate will weaken due to the jump in petroleum product prices, the paper forecasted. Raft of infra “Apart from government and official development assistance-funded infrastructures like the Metro Manila Subway, North-South Commuter Line that is gaining traction, major PPP projects such as the North Luzon Expressway-South Luzon Expressway second connector elevated tollway, Metro Rail Transit-7, Cavite-Laguna Expressway or Calax, an extension of Light Rail Transit-1 to Cavite, among others have hurdled key obstacles. The manufacturing sector continues to show expansion both in terms of manufacturing purchasing managers’ index or PMI and volume of production index or VoPI in the first two months. Faster return of hotels and restaurants to normal after the pandemic will also help drive the sector, FMIC said. Besides, the income tax cut which started January 2023, higher employment and infrastructure spending should bolster consumer spending, the report indicated. The report added that inflation is on a downtrend and should slip to 6.2 percent by June from a year ago despite a renewed climb in prices of petroleum products. Final May rate adjustment Easing food prices will likely offset the fuel price gains. Since we do not see a decline in actual CPI in April and May, BSP will likely proceed with raising its policy rates by 25 basis points in its May meeting. However, we expect a pause thereafter, FMIC said. The post Phl topbills Asia as global dynamo appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsApr 23rd, 2023

Inflation slows further in February, says BSP

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas said inflation likely slowed for the second straight month to a range of 7.4 to 8.2 percent in March, after slightly easing to 8.6 percent in February from a 14-year high of 8.7 percent......»»

Category: financeSource:  philstarRelated NewsMar 31st, 2023

Smaller rate hike expected as inflation slows

Economists are expecting a smaller rate hike by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas this month as inflation stayed below nine percent after easing to 8.6 percent in February from 8.7 percent in January......»»

Category: financeSource:  philstarRelated NewsMar 8th, 2023

No sign yet of peak inflation as January prices sizzle to new 14-year high

Inflation got hotter in January, dashing hopes that the uptrend would reach its peak soon and would start easing......»»

Category: financeSource:  philstarRelated NewsFeb 7th, 2023

Inflation likely peaked in July — FMIC

Inflation likely has reached its peak in July and will continue easing toward the end of the year, according to First Metro Investment Corp......»»

Category: financeSource:  philstarRelated NewsOct 1st, 2020

75% dissatisfied with government effort vs inflation – poll

Despite the easing inflation reported in recent months, three in every four Filipinos now say they are dissatisfied with the government’s efforts to control the rising cost of basic commodities, a recent survey conducted by the OCTA Research group showed......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsFeb 18th, 2024

BSP seen to keep rates unchanged

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas is likely to leave rates unchanged anew this week as it remains on a hawkish stance despite easing inflation......»»

Category: financeSource:  philstarRelated NewsFeb 12th, 2024

PH Inflation Sees Huge Dip in January 2024 Now at 2.8%

The country’s headline inflation has taken a significant dip, currently standing at 2.8%, according to the latest report from the Philippines Statistics Authority (PSA) released on February 6, 2024. According to PSA, this marks the lowest rate recorded since October 2020, showing a considerable drop from December 2023’s 3.9 percent and a noteworthy decrease from […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  metrocebuRelated NewsFeb 7th, 2024

‘Volatile inflation to keep rates steady’

Commodity prices in the country will remain volatile for the first semester, prompting the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas to keep rates steady and start easing only by June, according to Moody’s Analytics......»»

Category: financeSource:  philstarRelated NewsFeb 5th, 2024

BSP: Inflation likely eased further in January

Headline inflation likely slowed further for the fourth straight month in January, ranging between 2.8 and 3.6 percent, after easing to a 22-month low of 3.9 percent in December, according to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas......»»

Category: financeSource:  philstarRelated NewsJan 31st, 2024

Consumption seen to remain under pressure

Consumption, a key driver of the country’s economic growth, is expected to be challenged this year even with easing inflation, according to UK-based think tank Pantheon Macroeconomics......»»

Category: financeSource:  philstarRelated NewsJan 29th, 2024

Inflation still top concern for Pinoys

Despite inflation easing in December, it remains the top concern for many Filipinos as prices of rice, the country’s staple food, continued to pick up, think tank GlobalSource Partners said......»»

Category: financeSource:  philstarRelated NewsJan 15th, 2024

Philippines to post higher growth this year at 5.9% – JCER

The Philippines is expected to post faster economic growth this year than in 2023, with easing inflation likely to support consumption, according to a survey by the Japan Center for Economic Research......»»

Category: financeSource:  philstarRelated NewsJan 3rd, 2024

PSEi starts New Year in positive territory

The local stock market opened the new year strong, fueled by expectations of easing inflation, traders said......»»

Category: financeSource:  philstarRelated NewsJan 2nd, 2024

Department of Agriculture calls meeting over dumped tomatoes

The dumping of tomatoes in Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), particularly in Ifugao, Benguet and Nueva Vizcaya, prompted the Department of Agriculture (DA) to call for an emergency meeting as the head of the Nueva Vizcaya Agricultural Terminal (NVAT) warned that more such incidents may occur, with the peak harvest still in February 2024......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsDec 8th, 2023

Inflation likely eased in November

Inflation likely slowed for the second straight month in November after easing sharply to 4.9 percent in October from 6.1 percent in September, according to private economists......»»

Category: financeSource:  philstarRelated NewsDec 3rd, 2023