Philippines hikes key interest rates, first since 2011

July 31, 2014 - 1:32:28 pm

MANILA: Philippine monetary authorities raised key interest rates on Thursday for the first time in more than three years in a "pre-emptive" move to keep inflation under control.

The central bank said it raised its overnight borrowing and lending rates by 25 basis points to 3.75 percent and 5.75 percent respectively, marking the first time it raised the rates since May 2011.

Since then, the bank's monetary board has either lowered key interest rates or kept them steady until its latest decision.

"The monetary board's decision is a pre-emptive response to signs of inflation pressures and elevated inflation expectations," a central bank statement said.

It cited "higher food prices, short-term volatility in international oil prices", and expectations that power and transport rates would go up.

The rise in rates is also "a pre-emptive measure in the context of the eventual normalisation of monetary policy in some advanced economies", the bank said.

This was an apparent reference to the tapering off of stimulus spending in the West.

The bank said that inflation rate targets were "at risk" with more forecasts coming in that inflation in the coming years would be at the upper end of government targets.

Inflation rose to 4.4 percent in June, taking the first-half average to 4.2 percent, according to government figures.

The government previously targeted an inflation rate ranging from 3.0 to 5.0 percent in 2014 and 2.0 to 4.0 percent in 2015. (AFP)



 



 

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