The Philippines central bank raised its benchmark interest rate by 25 basis points to 6.25% on Thursday.

The move, which was predicted by all but one of 24 economists in a Reuters poll, brought to 425 basis points the total hikes the central bank has delivered since May.

The central bank revised down its forecasts for inflation this year and next and reiterated it was prepared to act if needed to slow the pace of consumer price increases to within its 2%-4% comfort range.

After annual inflation slightly eased to 8.6% in February, the central bank now expects inflation to average 6.0% in 2023 and 2.9% in 2024, compared with 6.1% and 3.1% predicted previously. (Reporting by Neil Jerome Morales and Enrico dela Cruz; Writing by Karen Lema Editing by Ed Davies)