The Philippines' inflation this year could be lower than 4.3 percent due to the delay in the increase in power rates, a central bank official said Tuesday.
Central bank Deputy Governor Diwa C. Gunigundo said the Philippine Supreme Court's decision to temporarily bar Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) from adjusting power rates could pull down average inflation for 2014.
Meralco, which accounts for 55 percent of the country's energy sales, is considered the largest electric distribution utility in the Philippines.
Last week, the apex court extended for another 60 days the temporary restraining order it issued against Meralco's adjustment of power rates as the high court continues to discuss petitions against the rate increase.
Early this month, the Philippine central bank downgraded its 2014 average inflation projection to 4.3 percent from its December forecast of 4.5 percent.
The projected inflation for the year is within the 3-5 percent target of the Philippine government.