Philippines cuts as World Bank pledges $200m food

The Central Bank of the Philippines lopped half a point off its key rate on Thursday as the World Bank approved a $200m loan to ensure the country's poor would have basic foodstuffs amid the growth slowdown.

The central bank cut its key policy rate to 5.5% on the back of the latest baseline forecast, which showed inflation falling in line with the 3.5-5.5% target by 2010.

"The monetary policy board believes that with inflation pressures continuing to recede, there is greater latitude to ease