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NEDA: Inflation now on downtrend; gov’t to continue monitoring situation

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The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) said on Thursday that inflation rate in the country is now on the downtrend this year.

“We are actively monitoring the situation and implementing the necessary measures to ensure that by the end of the year, we should be on our target of roughly around 4 percent and at 3.5 percent. So we are on a downward trajectory already,” NEDA chief Arsenio Balisacan said in a press briefing in Malacañang.

The socioeconomic planning chief also pointed out that a depreciation of the value of the Philippine peso is not necessarily detrimental to the economy.

“I think there are a lot of misconceptions about the weakening peso. When the peso depreciates, a bit not too much, because too much depreciation will cause instability and that could prevent investment,” Balisacan said.

“But, we think you know, allowing it to a lower level, like what it is now, can improve our competitiveness. Whether we are for the producers of local substitutes of imports or our exports.”

Balisacan said what the economic managers want to achieve is a stable exchange rate to be able to steer the economy to the right path of development.

“So the trick is to prevent sharp changes in those exchange rates because when you have that kind of world, it’s difficult to make decisions and therefore, investors will postpone their decisions… because they are not quite sure what the economic conditions are,” the NEDA chief added.

Government figures showed that the inflation rate in March 2023 further eased to 7.6 percent from 8.6 percent.

This is within the inflation forecast of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas at 7.4 percent to 8.2 percent and lower than the media estimate of private analysts of 8.1 percent. | PND

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