Philippines: No off-cycle rate hike: DOF

  • The head of the Duterte administration’s economic team on 14 Sep 18 ruled out an emergency meeting by authorities to tackle the possibility of raising interest rates to fight inflation ahead of the scheduled monetary policy meeting later in Sep 18.
  • Also, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III and Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno both told reporters that the country was not experiencing a “crisis” from the prevailing high consumer prices, with the latter assailing critics who describe the over nine-year high rate of 6.4% in Aug 18 as “runaway inflation.”
  • Dominguez said “it was decided that there will be no off-cycle” interest rate hike of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ policymaking Monetary Board ahead of its 27 Sep 18 meeting on the monetary policy stance.
  • Asked whether inflation will have any impact on the proposed 2019 budget, Mr. Dominguez said: “I don’t think so.” “We have a lot of tools that are available to us… monetary and non-monetary tools,” he added.
  • The economic managers recommended inflation-mitigating measures to President Rodrigo R. Duterte, who is expected to sign an Executive Order in Sep 18 to implement them.
  • These include the immediate release of 4.6 million sacks of rice from National Food Authority (NFA) warehouses, authorizing the NFA Council to import 5 million sacks of rice to arrive in Oct 18 and another 5 million in early-2019.
  • The economic managers are also banking on the immediate passage of the Rice Tariffication bill that would liberalize private importation of the staple grain.

External Link: https://business.inquirer.net/257270/no-off-cycle-rate-hike

External Link: http://www.bworldonline.com/no-reason-to-panic-over-inflation-economic-managers-say/

15-Sep-2018


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