BSP ready to take further action – Espenilla

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) is prepared to act again to restrain inflation, Governor Nestor Espenilla said, a day after raising interest rates for a third consecutive meeting.

Nestor A. Espenilla Jr. (Bloomberg) Nestor A. Espenilla Jr. (Bloomberg)

“We have not closed the door” on further action, Espenilla said in an interview with Bloomberg TV’s David Ingles and Rishaad Salamat on Friday. “But as you know, we do expect the inflation to potentially peak, perhaps by next month.”

“So we will have to assess that piece of information, but not only that information,” the governor said. “We will have to revisit our forecast horizon and act on that basis.”

Facing criticism the central bank had been too slow to act against inflation, Espenilla delivered a bigger-than-usual half a percentage point hike on Thursday, taking the benchmark rate to 4 percent. Policy makers in emerging markets are taking more aggressive steps to contain the fallout from rising US rates and a stronger dollar.

Inflation is at the highest in five years at 5.7 percent, and the governor has pledged to bring it back to the central bank’s target of 2 percent to 4 percent in 2019. The rate hike came hours after a report showed the economy grew at the slowest pace in three years at 6 percent in the second quarter. (Bloomberg)