THE Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said on Tuesday, January 31, 2023 that the country's inflation rate for the month of January will remain high.

In a statement, the BSP said the projected inflation rate for January is between 7.5 to 8.3 percent, higher than the two to four percent target of the national government.

“Upward price pressures for the month are expected to emanate from higher electricity rates, approved water rate rebasing, higher domestic petroleum prices, uptick in the prices of key food items, and the annual increase in sin taxes,” it said.

“Meanwhile, the reduction in LPG prices as well as the peso appreciation could contribute to easing price pressures for the month,” it added.

The BSP said the will continue to adjust its monetary policy stance at the necessary pace to prevent the further broadening of price pressures and monitor emerging price developments closely in accordance with their price stability mandate.

The country’s inflation rate stood at 8.1 percent in December 2022, the highest for 2022 and the highest since November 2008.

In January, the Manila Electric Company (Meralco) earlier implemented a rate hike of 62.32 centavos per kilowatt-hour (/kWh) to P10.9001/kWh for typical a household which translates to an increase of around P125 in the total bill of a residential customer consuming 200 kWh.

Within the month of January, prices of petroleum products also increased for three weeks.

Earlier, BSP Governor Felipe Medalla said the country’s inflation is expected to normalize starting January 2023 after peaking in December.

He said it is projected to return to normal by the third or fourth quarter of the year. (SunStar Philippines)