Stock - Manila skyline / Philippines
Government may temporarily cut rice import tariffs: Balisacan Image Credit: Bloomberg

Manila: Philippine inflation quickened in August on higher rice prices, snapping six straight months of deceleration and giving reason for the central bank to reconsider its interest-rate pause.

Consumer prices rose 5.3 per cent from a year ago, faster than the 4.7 per cent rate in July, the statistics agency said on Tuesday. The central bank saw August inflation between 4.8 per cent to 5.6 per cent.

Rice inflation quickened to 8.7 per cent, marking the sixth consecutive month of increase. President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has capped prices of the staple grain amid higher retail costs and reports of hoarding by traders. Rice makes up around 9 per cent of the nation's consumer basket.

The Philippine central bank, which is due to review monetary settings Sept. 21, has retained its hawkish bias despite keeping the key rate steady for three straight meetings. Governor Eli Remolona has flagged inflation risks including higher rice and fuel prices, and said a rate cut isn't on the monetary authority's radar at the moment.