February inflation steady at 3 percent

Headline inflation was steady at 3.0 percent in February 2022 from the previous month’s rate.

This is well within the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ (BSP) month-ahead forecast of 2.8-3.6 percent for the month.

The resulting year-to-date average inflation of 3.0 percent is at the midpoint of the Government’s average inflation target range of 2.0-4.0 percent for the year.

Meanwhile, on a month-on-month seasonally adjusted basis, inflation eased to 0.3 percent in February 2022 from 0.4 percent in January 2022.

Inflation was unchanged in February as the slowdown in inflation of heavily-weighted food items offset the increase in non-food inflation.

Non-food inflation was driven by energy-related items as domestic petroleum prices went up, reflecting the rise in global oil prices. This was counterbalanced by the moderation in food inflation as year-on-year inflation for fruits and vegetables remained in the negative territory.

Meat inflation also slowed down in February while fish inflation decelerated with the lifting of the closed fishing season in Northeastern Palawan.

The BSP’s full-year inflation forecasts continue to show that inflation would average within the 2.0-4.0 percent target range for 2022-2023 as government direct measures help address supply constraints.

However, the recent increases in international commodity prices due to geopolitical conflict have raised global uncertainty over the near term.

In this regard, the BSP supports the National Government’s initiatives to implement appropriate fiscal interventions to cushion the domestic economy against external shocks.

Preserving monetary policy support to sustain the economic recovery remains a priority, even as the BSP stands ready to respond to potential second-round effects that could arise from elevated global commodity prices that can disanchor inflation expectations, in keeping with our price and financial stability mandates. (BSP)