UPDATE 1-Philippine c.bank holds rates, but flags inflation risks in 2022

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* Key rate at a record low of 2.0% since November 2020

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* Inflation risk shifted upward in 2022, says BSP

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* Sees inflation risks balanced broadly for 2023

* Says easing of COVID-19 restrictions may dampen demand (c. Adds bank governor’s bid, inflation outlook)

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BORAKE, Philippines, Nov 18 (Businesshala) – The Philippine central bank kept its benchmark interest rate at a record low on Thursday, maintaining support to ensure a sustained recovery for the Southeast Asian economy, even as it raised inflation risks next year. have been warned.

Bangkok Central ng Pilipinas (BSP) kept the rate on the reverse repurchase facility overnight at 2.0%, as expected by all 19 economists surveyed by Businesshala.

The rates on overnight deposits and lending facilities have been kept at 1.5% and 2.5% respectively.

“On balance, the sum of the new data suggests that there remains room for monetary policy settings to remain stable amid an environment of manageable inflation,” BSP Governor Benjamin Diacono said.

“With appropriate financial and health interventions, patience on BSP’s policy lever, the economic recovery in the next few quarters will be more sustainable,” he told reporters at a press conference on the resort island of Boracay.

The Philippines, which suffered one of the worst outbreaks of the pandemic in Asia, slashed its growth target this year to 4%-5% from 6%-7%.

The decline in infections has led to a gradual easing of restrictions, helping more businesses to reopen and some momentum in the recovery in recent months.

Annual economic growth here slowed less than expected in the third quarter to meet, if not exceed, the 2021 target for the country, with domestic demand easing holiday spending and restrictions in the fourth quarter. likely to move forward.

Diocno on Sunday said the BSP may continue with its liberal policy stance while expecting the economy to exceed the government’s growth target this year.

The government has ramped up its vaccination campaign, vaccinating more than a quarter of its 110 million population, and is hoping to further ease mobility restrictions by early 2022.

While risks to the inflation outlook have shifted upward for 2022, DiaCono said they are broadly balanced for 2023.

Annual inflation eased to a three-month low of 4.6% in October, but was still above the 2%-4% target band for the year.

Reporting by Neil Jerome Morales, Karen Lema and Enrico Della Cruz; Editing by Jacqueline Wong

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