BSP Urged to Favor Growth over Inflation in Monetary Policy

Manila Bulletin, January 16, 2010 | Go to article overview

BSP Urged to Favor Growth over Inflation in Monetary Policy


The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas should favor economic growth over controlling inflation, Economic Planning Secretary Augusto Santos said.“My bias is no, because economic growth is more important,” Santos said when asked whether the bank should tighten monetary policy. While inflation is a “concern,” it’s within target, he said.Economic growth of about 1 percent last year is “possible,” Santos said. The government has maintained its 0.8 percent to 1.8 percent growth target for 2009 even after nine-month growth was capped at 0.7 percent.Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas may increase the rediscounting rates it charges lenders for borrowing money from the central bank as part of its exit from measures taken to boost growth amid the global economic recession, BSP Governor Amando Tetangco said last week. Inflation accelerated to an eight-month high of 4.4 percent in December as food costs rose.The government is keeping its 2.6 percent to 3.6 percent 2010 growth target, Economic Policy Planning Director Dennis Arroyo told reporters elsewhere in Manila. Economic expansion will be boosted 0.34 percentage point by spending related to this year’s general election, Arroyo said.The Philippines widened its budget deficit target this year to 293 billion pesos ($6.4 billion), or 3.5 percent of gross domestic product, Santos said, citing the results of a meeting of government economic officials.The Bureau of Internal Revenue’s 2010 target was cut to 830.4 billion pesos from 875.1 billion pesos, Finance Undersecretary Gil Beltran said in an interview.The “emerging” budget deficit estimate for last year is 280 billion pesos to 290 billion pesos, or 3.6 percent to 3. …

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