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Philippines cuts key rate to shield economy from coronavirus

Viral outbreak prompts 'preemptive' measure, despite healthy economy

Despite economic headwinds, Manila is cautiously optimistic about meeting this year's growth target.   © Reuters

MANILA -- The Philippine central bank cut the benchmark interest rate by 25 basis points on Thursday to help shield the economy from the effects of the coronavirus outbreak and a recent volcano eruption.

At its first meeting of the year, the bank lowered the key rate to 3.75% in line with market expectations. The resumption of easing came after the government reported on Wednesday that January inflation rose to 2.9%, although the figure was still within the targeted 2% to 4% range.

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