Philippine central bank maintains interest rate at 2.0 pct

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MANILA, March 25 (Xinhua) — The Philippine central bank on Thursday maintained interest rate on the overnight reverse repurchase facility at 2.0 percent.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said its monetary board also kept interest rates on the overnight deposit and lending facilities unchanged at 1.5 percent and 2.5 percent, respectively.

The BSP noted that the latest inflation forecasts have shifted higher over the policy horizon.

“Inflation may breach the upper end of the target range of 2-4 percent in 2021, reflecting the impact of supply-side constraints on domestic prices of key food commodities such as meat as well as the continuing uptick in international oil prices,” the BSP said in a statement.

Nevertheless, the BSP said the inflation is still seen to return within the target band in 2022 as supply-side influences subside.

The BSP said the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic also continues to pose downside risks to the inflation outlook. The recent surge in virus infections and challenges over mass vaccination programs continue to temper domestic demand prospects, it added.

The Philippines registered 8,773 new COVID-19 infections on Thursday, the highest ever daily tally since the outbreak began in January last year, raising the nationwide count to 693,048. The country’s COVID-19 death toll has climbed to 13,095. Enditem

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