February 8, 2018 / 8:24 AM / in a year

Philippine c.bank hikes inflation forecasts on rising oil prices

MANILA, Feb 8 (Reuters) - The Philippine central bank on Thursday raised its inflation forecasts for 2018 and 2019, citing the impact of rising global oil prices.

The central bank expects inflation to average at 4.34 percent this year, higher than its previous forecast of 3.4 percent.

The estimate for 2019 was also increased, to 3.49 percent from 3.2 percent.

Francisco Dakila, managing director at the central bank, said the upward trajectory in inflation is largely due to supply side factors that are transitory in nature.

“By March next year, we should be back to the inflation target band” of 2-4 percent, Dakila told reporters.

The central bank on Thursday left its benchmark interest rate at 3.0 percent, as expected. (Reporting by Neil Jerome Morales and Enrico dela Cruz; Writing by Manolo Serapio Jr.; Editing by Richard Borsuk)

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