bin picking – Inflation to peak in 3rd quarter, Bangko Sentral says
MANILA — Inflation will likely peak in the third quarter and the faster than expected rise in consumer prices is no surprise to the country's economic managers, officials said.
Inflation quickened to 5.2 percent in June, the highest in data since January 2013, adding pressure on the central bank to raise its benchmark lending rate for the third time this year.
Economic officials had blamed the price spikes on higher fuel prices in the world market, which in turn added to production and logistics costs.
Bangko Sentral vows to tame inflation as it hits a 5-year high
"We have been expecting this [high inflation rate] all along, so it should not be a surprise," Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Deputy Governor Diwa Guinigundo said in a forum last Friday.
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Despite, quickening inflation, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia said gross domestic product growth was "high and steady" at 6.8 percent in the first quarter from the average 6.7 in 2017.
The economy is expected to grow further with the government's P8-trillion infrastructure program, he said.
Inflation a fault line for 'Build, Build, Build' ambition
Pernia said the unemployment slid to 5.7 percent, its lowest in the last decade, after 1.53 million jobs were generated in the first half of 2018.
The administration plans to bring the unemployment rate down to 4.7 percent this year, he said.
Report from Rea Acuesta
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