(Corrects to remove extraneous words in 2nd paragraph)
MANILA, Feb 8 (Reuters) - The Philippine central bank kept its benchmark interest rate steady on Thursday, waiting for more data before it decides to pull the trigger and hike even as inflation touched the upper end of its 2-4 percent target.
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas held its overnight policy rate at 3.0 percent, as expected.
Annual Inflation quickened to 4.0 percent in January, the fastest in more than three years, due to the impact of higher taxes and increases in the price of food, alcohol and tobacco.
The central bank last hiked interest rates in September 2014.
In a Reuters poll, three out of 12 analysts expected a rate hike on Thursday. A slim majority saw a raise at the central bank’s next review in March. (Reporting by Neil Jerome Morales and Enrico dela Cruz; Editing by Richard Borsuk)