POLL-Philippine cbank to keep key rate at record low for 7th meeting

23-Sep-2021 Intellasia | Nasdaq | 5:02 AM Print This Post

All but one of 18 economists see benchmark rate steady at 2%

BSP to announce rate decision at around 0800 GMT on Thursday

MANILA, September 21 (Reuters) The Philippine central bank is widely expected to keep its key interest rate steady at a record low on Thursday, as a resurgence in COVID-19 cases and containment measures could derail the domestic economy’s recovery, a Reuters poll showed.

All but one of 18 economists surveyed see no change to the overnight reverse repurchase facility rate PHCBIR=ECI, which has been maintained at 2.0 percent for six consecutive policy meetings since November.

The lone dissenter called for a 25 basis points cut as the imposition of strict lockdown measures in the capital region in August until mid-September dashed hopes of a strong economic rebound this year.

The Philippines slashed this year’s growth target to 4.0%-5.0%, from the 6.0%-7.0 percent expected previously.

Most of the economists also expect the benchmark rate to remain unchanged until the first half of 2022, with the upward pressure on inflation likely to limit the central bank’s room for further policy easing.

“The odds of additional BSP easing are very slim given the current unfriendly inflation backdrop,” said Nicholas Mapa, a senior economist at ING.

BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno said on September 7 that inflation, which last month quickened to 4.9%, its fastest pace in nearly three years, could accelerate before easing back to within the 2%-4 percent target range by end of the year.



Category: Philippines

Print This Post

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.