Philippine Finance Minister: central bank has “probably done … – WTVB

MANILA (Reuters) – The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has “probably done enough” to tackle inflation, the country’s finance secretary said on Tuesday, in comments that may add weight to expectations the central bank’s policy tightening cycle is nearing an end.
Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno, who sits on the seven-man policy-making monetary board, said monetary policy was not the only game in town, and the government has non-monetary tools at its disposal to manage inflation.
Diokno’s remarks came ahead of Wednesday’s release of March inflation data, which according to the BSP likely eased to between 7.4% and 8.2% from 8.6% in February, but still above the government’s 2%-4% inflation target for the year.
Diokno said the central bank’s March inflation estimate pointed to the likelihood that inflation in the country has already peaked.
He added, however, it was too early to assess the impact of the surprise output cut by oil producers on Philippine inflation.
The BSP last month hiked its benchmark interest rate further although at a slower pace of 25 basis points to 6.25%, and said its next policy move would depend largely on how consumer prices will behave in the coming months. It next meets on May 18.
The central bank governor did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
(Reporting by Neil Jerome Morales; Writing by Karen Lema; Editing by Ed Davies; Editing by Ed Davies)
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