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Philippine central bank still eyeing at least 50 bps of rate cuts this year

FILE PHOTO: A security guard stands beside a logo of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (Central Bank of the Philippines) posted at the main gate in Manila, Philippines April 28, 2016. REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco

MANILA (Reuters) – The Philippine central bank is still considering cutting its benchmark interest rate by at least 50 basis points (bps) this year, its governor said on Thursday.

The central bank slashed its policy rates <PHCBIR=ECI> by 75 basis points in 2019, reversing some of the policy tightening it did in 2018 to slow red-hot inflation.

“We still have a long way to unwind,” Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Benjamin Diokno told reporters ahead of the central bank‘s policy meeting on Feb 6.

Economic growth in the Philippines slid to an eight-year low of 5.9% last year, missing the low-end of the government’s 6.0%-6.5% expansion target.

(Reporting by Neil Jerome Morales; Editing by Kim Coghill)

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