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Philippine CB Keeps Rates Unchanged

The Philippines' central bank decided to maintain its key interest rate at a record low, as widely expected, on Thursday.

The monetary board of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, governed by Nestor Espenilla, held the overnight reverse repurchase facility at 3.00 percent.

The rates on the overnight lending and deposit facilities and the reserve requirement ratios were also kept steady.

Although inflation rose to a more than three-year high in January, policymakers said inflation path is expected to moderate and settle within the target range of 2-4 percent in 2019.

Nonetheless, the board observed that the risks to the inflation outlook remain weighted toward the upside owing mainly to price pressures emanating from possible further increases in global oil prices.

Gareth Leather, an economist at Capital Economics, said rates are likely to remain unchanged throughout 2018. Although the annual inflation will remain elevated throughout 2018, inflation should drop back at the start of next year.

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