March inflation at 3.9 pct, slower than expected

Posted at 04/04/2014 11:27 AM | Updated as of 04/04/2014 11:27 AM

MANILA - Philippine inflation slowed for the second straight month in March on lower prices of alcoholic beverages and tobacco and partly as a pending power tariff hike has yet to be implemented, allowing policymakers room to keep rates steady for now.

The annual inflation rate was 3.9 percent, the state statistics agency said on Friday, lower than a 4.2 percent consensus estimate in a Reuters poll and the slowest in four months.

The central bank had expected annual inflation in March at 3.7 to 4.2 percent.