Tuesday, Indonesia's central bank lowered its key interest rate for a sixth consecutive month to boost consumer spending and spur economic growth.

The Bank Indonesia slashed its benchmark rate by 25 basis points to 7.25%, taking the rate to the lowest level since July 2005, when the measure was introduced. The latest rate cut has resulted in a cumulative reduction of 225 basis points since December 2008.

The Indonesian central bank kept its economic outlook unchanged this month, saying that the economy will grow between 3% and 4% in 2009 supported by domestic demand and a reasonably good export performance.

Consumer prices in the Philippines climbed 4.8% year-on-year in April following the 6.4% expansion in the previous month, the National Statistics Office said. Core inflation, which excludes volatile fresh food and energy prices, was up 5% on year after the 5.6%.

In Taiwan, consumer prices registered the third consecutive month of fall in April, declining 0.45% year-on-year, after a 0.15% drop in March, the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics said. Economists expected consumer prices to rise 0.48%. At the same time, consumer prices increased 0.78% month-on-month in April, following a 0.11% rise in the preceding month.

Meanwhile, the wholesale price index or WPI dropped 10.99% year-on-year in April compared to 9.2% fall in March. On a monthly basis, the WPI slipped 0.54% in April, following a 0.12% decline in the previous month.

Taiwan's central bank said foreign exchange reserves rose US$4.53 billion month-on-month to US$304.6 billion at the end of April.

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