[MANILA] Philippine annual inflation in May slowed for a third straight month to its lowest in at least nine years on declines in major commodities, the statistics agency said on Friday, giving the central bank more leeway to cut rates if needed to spur growth.
The consumer price index rose 1.6 per cent in May from a year ago, below the 1.9 per cent rise predicted by analysts in a Reuters poll, and the slowest since at least 2006 when the latest data rebasing was launched.
The headline rate matched the low-end of the central bank's forecast range of 1.6-2.4 per cent for May inflation.
Core inflation, which strips out volatile food and fuel prices, was 2.2 per cent, matching the rate in January.
On a month-on-month basis, prices fell 0.1 per cent compared with April's 0.2 per cent rise.