August 28, 2018 / 3:36 AM / in 8 months

Philippines finance minister: No serious impact on GDP from rate hikes

MANILA, Aug 28 (Reuters) - Recent interest rate hikes in the Philippines will not have a serious impact on the economy, the finance minister said on Tuesday, adding that the government is keeping its 2018 growth target of 7=8 percent for now.

“At the moment we believe the policy rates are totally appropriate at this time. They are data driven,” Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez told a journalists’ forum.

“While they have some effect on the growth rate, we don’t think it’s going to be that serious because the economy is growing at quite a fast rate.”

The Philippine central bank has raised its benchmark rates three times since May, by a total of 100 basis points, to tame inflation that hit a more than five-year high in July. (Reporting by Neil Jerome Morales and Karen Lema; Writing by Manolo Serapio Jr.; Editing by Richard Borsuk)

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