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Philippine inflation plunges after Duterte steps in to tame prices

Economists see potential central bank easing in 2019 after first drop in nearly a year

Food price increases have slowed, helping pull down inflation in the Philippines     © Reuters

MANILA -- Inflation in the Philippines slowed for the first time in nearly a year, in a boost for President Rodrigo Duterte's unorthodox campaign to tame consumer prices.

Consumer prices rose 6% in November, down from 6.7% the previous month, data showed Wednesday. Even so, inflation over the first 11 months of the year averaged 5.2% -- a full percentage point above the central bank's target range of 2% to 4% -- and remains the highest among major Southeast Asian economies.

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