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By By Joann Santiago
PNA

Rate of price increases in the Philippines may have reached its lowest rate last July or this month, a Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) official said.

“Based on our estimate, it may have bottomed out in July or August,” BSP Deputy Governor Diwa Guinigundo told reporters Thursday night.

Inflation in the country registered a 22-year low of 0.2 percent last July after peaking at 12.5 percent in August 2008.

Monetary officials and analysts are saying that it may have bottomed out in the third quarter this year with others saying it will even go negative.

However, Guinigundo said they do not see deflation in the country even if this has been experienced abroad since upside risks like volatilities in oil and food prices will prevent this from happening.

He added that base effects continue to drive the deceleration of inflation.

Inflation worldwide registered a big spike in 2008 after oil prices posted a record high of about US$ 141 per barrel by mid-year.

This resulted in the same trend in the prices of food commodities, thus, the jump in inflation rates.

Economists are saying that with the prices of oil in the international market going up again, inflation will follow but monetary officials said that the levels reached last year will not happen again in the coming months. (PNA)

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