[MANILA] Philippine annual inflation was steady at 0.4 per cent in October as lower food prices were offset by acceleration in transport, alcoholic beverages, tobacco and clothing costs, the statistics agency said on Thursday.
The rate, which matched September's record low, was slightly below the 0.5 per cent forecast in a Reuters poll and was near the midpoint of the central bank's 0.1-0.9 per cent forecast for the month.
The October reading brought the 10-month average inflation rate to 1.4 per cent, below the central bank's 2-4 per cent target for the year.
The Philippine central bank expects inflation to move closer to its 2-4 per cent target in the next two years due to risks a prolonged El Nino dry spell poses for food prices and possible higher utility rates.
- Last month, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Amando Tetangco said monetary policy can remain steady for the rest of the year, with inflation on course to settle below the central bank's target this year and growth expected to expand at a solid pace despite global headwinds.
- The central bank meets on Nov 12 to review policy, It has kept the overnight borrowing rate steady at 4.0 per cent since October 2014.