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MANILA, June 22 (Reuters) - The Philippine central bank on Thursday cut its inflation forecast for this year, saying it sees a tamer pace in consumer price increases and one still within the target of the monetary authority.
Inflation is now forecast to average 3.1 percent in 2017, from 3.4 percent previously.
"It will be lower on a monthly path. In fact even the peak period of August and September, the expected monthly inflation for those two months will be lower compared to what we projected in May," central bank deputy governor Diwa Guinigundo told a news conference.
For 2018, the average forecast was kept at 3.0 percent. The central bank also sees inflation averaging 3.0 percent in 2019.
The central bank, which has a 2-4 percent inflation target for this year and next, kept its benchmark interest rate steady at 3.0 percent on Thursday, as expected. (Reporting by Neil Jerome Morales and Enrico dela Cruz; Writing by Manolo Serapio Jr.; Editing by Richard Borsuk)