A rice vendor waits for customers at the Paco Market in Manila, March 13. -- PHOTO BY RYAN BALDEMOR, The Philippine Star

MANILA – Philippine annual inflation will likely be between 3.5% to 4.3% in April, the central bank said on Tuesday.

Upside pressures on inflation had come from continued price increases for rice, meat, and gasoline, as well as the peso’s depreciation, the central bank said.

But these could be offset by lower prices of fish, fruits, vegetables, and electricity rates, it added.

Philippine annual inflation accelerated for the second straight month in March, driven by the heavily-weighted rice prices, with the consumer price index rising an annual 3.7%.

The central bank said it will continue monitoring developments affecting the outlook for inflation and growth. The Philippines’ statistics agency will release inflation data on May 7. –– Reuters