PH inflation seen at 5-month high in February
MANILA - Philippine annual inflation probably quickened to 3.3 percent in February, its fastest pace in five months, due to higher energy costs and a low base, but is unlikely to nudge the central bank into action as price rises remain in a targeted range this year.
Core inflation, which strips out volatile food and energy prices, may have quickened to 3.7 percent from a year earlier against the previous month's 3.6 percent, the median forecast of a Reuters poll of 10 financial institutions showed.
But inflation on a month-on-month basis likely eased to 0.4 percent from 0.5 percent in January, the poll found.
Economists forecast inflation will be 3.5 percent this year, well within the central bank's 3 to 5 percent target band, making it likely policymakers will leave the overnight borrowing rate unchanged at a record low of 3.5 percent at its March 14 meeting.