Philippines inflation tops 14-year high in January

Philippines inflation tops 14-year high in January

The statistics agency said on Monday that Philippine inflation accelerated to a new 14 year high in January, keeping pressure on the central bank to tighten monetary policy.

The consumer price index CPI increased 8.7 per cent in January, way above the 7.7 per cent forecast in a Reuters poll and topping the 8.1 per cent rate in December.

The core inflation, which strips out volatile food and fuel items, increased to 7.4 per cent from December's 6.9 per cent.

The Philippine central bank, which had forecast January CPI to be between 7.5 per cent and 8.3 per cent, said on Saturday it will focus on inflation rather than the Federal Reserve's 25 basis point hike when it meets on February 16 to review key interest rates.

The central bank's first policy meeting this year has signalled further interest rates hikes at the central bank's first two policy meetings this year to bring inflation back within a target range of 2 per cent to 4 per cent.