While the country’s inflation rate in June 2021 eased to 4.1 percent, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said it would still monitor the economic pressures brought about by the emerging coronavirus variants.

The BSP said on July 6 the threats to its inflation outlook in 2021 would come from the emergence of new coronavirus variants that “could delay the easing of lockdown measures and temper prospects for domestic growth.”

“The BSP remains watchful over the evolving economic conditions and challenges brought about by the pandemic to ensure that the monetary policy stance remains consistent with its price and financial stability objectives,” it said in a statement.

After three consecutive months of inflation at 4.5 percent, the rate of increase of consumer prices slowed down to 4.1 percent in June 2021, within the BSP’s forecast range of 3.9–4.7 percent.

The central bank said average inflation would likely settle at the high-end of the 2 to 4 percent target range for the whole year, and effectively implementing direct non-monetary measures would be “crucial in mitigating further supply-side pressures.”

The 9.6 percent rise in the transport index, which was lower than May 2021’s 16.5 percent, contributed to the slower pace in inflation, while high meat and oil prices put pressure on the headline figure. Jelo Ritzhie Mantaring