Inflation seen easing in November: Reuters poll

MANILA – Philippine consumer inflation likely eased in November for the first time in almost a year, coming off its highest rate in almost a decade, due to declining fuel and rice prices and a stronger peso, a Reuters poll showed.

The median forecast of 11 analysts was for the consumer price index in November to rise 6.2 percent from a year earlier, slowing from 6.7 percent in September and October, a near 10-year high.

Analysts’ November forecasts ranged from 5.9 percent to 6.5 percent, while the central bank projected inflation to come in around 5.8-6.6 percent.

Only three of 11 analysts had forecasts for November core inflation, seen steady at 4.9 percent.

Some analysts said easing inflation should give the central bank room to pause at its Dec. 13 policy meeting after raising interest rates by a total 175 basis points at five consecutive meetings.

Following the rate hikes, the central bank has forecast average inflation of 3.5 percent next year, within its 2-4 percent target range, easing from its projected average this year of 5.3 percent, outside the same target range.

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