Philippine cbank holds rate, but sends hawkish signal

  • Philippine cbank holds rate, but sends hawkish signal



    The Philippine central bank left key interest rates steady on Thursday to shore up a domestic economy facing risks from global uncertainties, but it raised inflation forecasts and highlighted its readiness to temper increasing price pressures.

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    The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) kept the rate on the overnight reverse repurchase facility at 2.0per cent for an eleventh straight policy meeting, as predicted by all 17 economists in a March 15-21 Reuters poll.

    The interest rates on the overnight deposit and lending facilities were likewise kept at 1.5per cent and 2.5per cent, respectively.

    "The Monetary Board sees scope to maintain the BSP's policy settings in order to safeguard the momentum of economic recovery amid increased uncertainty, even as it continues to develop its plans for the gradual normalisation of its extraordinary liquidity measures," BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno said.

    The Philippine peso was little changed by 0715 GMT, following the BSP's decision. The country's main share index was up 1per cent.

    Average inflation could breach the upper end of the 2per cent-4per cent target range in 2022 by reaching 4.3per cent, higher than the February forecast of 3.7per cent, Diokno said.