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Higher inflation seen

Joshua Lao

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While the sustained increase in the cost of goods and services in the country was expected to remain manageable, a slight acceleration at its pace could be expected for the month of November.

Various private economists agreed over a 2.7 percent view for November, citing the recent weather disturbances to push prices higher, especially agricultural commodities.

Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. chief economist Michael Ricafort offered a 2.7 percent view for November inflation as the trend in global crude oil prices are increasing, which could lead to upward adjustments in local oil prices.

Still, Ricafort cited the recent temporary disruption to logistics and supply chains, in view of power/electricity, telecommunications and water outages to have led to a spike in prices for the month.

On the other hand, offsetting factors for inflation include the stronger peso, which stood 48.06 against the dollar on Friday, highlighting the possibility of a breach towards the 47 territory.

Security Bank Corp. chief economist Robert Dan Roces shared the same sentiment, pencilling a similar 2.7 percent outlook with a forecast range of 2.5 to 2.9 percent.

ING Bank senior economist Nicholas Mapa and Sun Life Philippines chief investments officer Michael Enrique cited the same 2.7 percent view for inflation owing to the same factors.

Meanwhile, Union Bank of the Philippines chief economist Carlo Asuncion casted a higher 3 percent projection for the month, quantifying the potential impact of the recent weather disturbances.

“We think that the typhoon-induced food price upticks, particularly in the Luzon area can augment the monthly headline inflation by 0.5 percentage point,” Asuncion said.

To recall, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas expects inflation in November to settle within the 2.4 to 3.2 percent range, sitting well within the government’s 2 to 4 percent target band.

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