Philippines' July inflation seen up

Posted at 08/04/14 10:28 AM

MANILA - Philippine annual inflation is forecast to have risen to a 2-1/2-year high in July, a Reuters poll showed, keeping pressure on the central bank to follow up on last week's rate hike in coming months to stay on top of rising prices.

Annual headline inflation is expected to have edged up to 4.5 percent in July, from 4.4 percent in June, driven by record-high rice prices and higher electricity costs, according to the median forecast of 11 analysts in a Reuters poll.

The median estimate, which falls within the central bank's 4.1-4.9 percent forecast for July, matched the rate in May, which was the highest since November 2011.

On Thursday, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas raised its main overnight borrowing rate by 25 basis points to 3.75 for the first time in three years, aimed at taming price pressures as they threatened to top next year's inflation target of 2 to 4 percent.

The central bank has a 3 to 5 percent target this year.

The consensus from a Reuters quarterly poll in July was for the central bank to raise the main policy by another quarter percentage point to 4.0 percent before the end of the year.

The next policy review is on Sept. 11.