Philippines December inflation accelerates to 3.5% yr/yr

MANILA, Jan 5 (Reuters) – Philippine annual inflation picked up faster than expected to 3.5% in December, driven by the heavily-weighted food and non-alcoholic beverages sector to hit the highest level since February, 2019, the statistics agency said on Tuesday.

That brought the full-year 2020 average to 2.6%, still comfortably within the official target range of 2%-4%.

But the December headline figure came in above the median 3.1% forecast in a Reuters poll and was near the top end of the central bank’s projected range of 2.9%-3.7%.

Core inflation, which excludes volatile food and fuel prices, picked up to 3.3% from 3.2% in November.

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