Inflation shock! HSBC expects Monetary Board to jack up rates by 50 bps
MANILA — Banking giant HSBC forecasts a 50 basis point increase in the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ (BSP) key rates when its policy-making Monetary Board (MB) holds this year’s fifth rate-setting meeting on August 9.
In a report on economic data and previews, HSBC traced its projected increase on the central bank’s key rates to “inflation shock” last June.
In the sixth month this year, the rate of price increases rose to a multiyear high of 5.2 percent, bringing the average in the first half of this year to 4.3 percent, higher than the government’s 2 percent to 4 percent target this year.
“Inflation is now likely to peak higher and remain above target for longer than initially expected given the ‘June shock’, which we believe requires an aggressive response from the BSP,” the report said.
BSP’s Monetary Board hiked the central bank’s key rates by a total of 50 basis points so far this year to avert possible second-round effects of the rising inflation rate.
To date, the rate of the central bank’s overnight reverse repurchase (RRP) facility is 3.5 percent.
HSBC raised the possibility of another inflation shock “as the recent inflation prints likely further heighten inflation expectations and may lead to another round of broad-based price increases.”
It projects a possible increase in the BSP’s key rates by 25 basis points in 2019 “as the second tranche of tax increases take effect.”
Although the report forecasts additional rate hikes from the BSP this month it, on the other hand, discounted further increase in big banks’ reserve requirement ratio.
The BSP cut big banks and non-bank financial institutions’ RRR by a total of 50 basis points to 18 percent, at one percentage point each last February and May, in line with the central bank’s shift towards a market-based implementation of monetary policy.
Earlier, BSP Governor Nestor A. Espenilla Jr. said the central bank is done with the RRR adjustment bid this year, noting that the level of adjustment so far “already sends a credible and concrete signal to the financial system of BSP commitment to structural reforms.” (PNA)