Philippines lowers rates to 5%

The Central Bank of the Philippines's rate-setting monetary board on Thursday cut its key policy rate by a quarter-point to 5%.

The decision is the fourth consecutive cut since the central bank held rates in August.

Inflation was expected to fall within the 5% to 3% target range for this year, and the 4.5% to 2.5% range for 2009. Inflation in December, the most recent measure, was 3.9%. "Demand indicators continue to show some strengthening, indicating manageable price pressures going forward