MANILA - The Philippine central bank will likely continue to tighten its monetary policy this year in response to the U.S. Federal Reserve's rate hikes, but it does not have to move in pace with its policy adjustments, its governor said on Friday.
"We will not match them point by point," Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Felipe Medalla told reporters at a business forum, as Fed officials have spoken of the need for further rate hikes to bring high inflation under control.
The narrowing rate differentials between the Philippines and the United States has weighed on the peso, and policymakers were concerned that the currency's persistent weakness could further fan an inflation rate running at near-four hear highs.
Several U.S. Fed officials said on Thursday it needed to keep raising borrowing costs to tame prices.
The BSP left the door open for further hikes after it raised its benchmark interest rate by 50 basis points on Thursday to 3.75%, bringing the total of policy increases to 175 basis points so far this year.
The probability of zero hikes in each of the last three policy meetings this year - September, November and December - is slim, Medalla said. "Our monetary policy is still accommodative."
(Reporting by Neil Jerome Morales; Editing by Kanupriya Kapoor)