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[MANILA] The Philippine central bank on Thursday cut its average 2015 inflation estimate to 1.6 per cent from 1.8 per cent on expectations commodity prices will stay stable despite the threat this year's El Nino dry weather pattern may get more severe.
Average inflation this year could fall below the government target range of 2-4 per cent, central bank Governor Amando Tetangco told reporters.
But Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas slightly raised its average inflation forecast for 2016 to 2.6 per cent from the previous 2.5 per cent estimate, said Diwa Guinigundo, deputy central bank governor.
The central bank kept its benchmark interest rate steady at 4.0 per cent for the eighth meeting in a row on Thursday. It also kept the rate on its special deposit accounts steady at 2.50 per cent and the reserve requirement ratio at 20 per cent.