MANILA — Higher oil and commodity prices are seen as upside risks for Philippines’ inflation rate in January 2018 and bring the rate between 3.5 and four percent.
In a statement, the central bank said its Department of Economic Research considered the impact of higher fuel prices overseas and weather-related disturbances in the country as factors that would push up prices.
“In addition, higher excise taxes on fuel, sugar sweetened beverages with the implementation of the TRAIN (Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion) this month, would lead to additional upward price pressures,” it said, referring to the first package of the tax reform program that is being implemented starting Jan. 1 this year.
“The increase in prices could be partly offset by lower electricity rates in Meralco-serviced areas for the month,” it added.
The government has a two to four percent inflation target for 2017-19.
Last year, inflation averaged at 3.2 percent, higher than year-ago’s 1.8 percent rate but still within the government’s target range.
Last December alone, inflation was flat at 3.3 percent but higher than year-ago’s 2.6 percent.
Philippine monetary officials forecast this year’s inflation to average at 3.4 percent.