Philippine Inflation Rate Has Hit A 3-Year High

Philippine Inflation Rate Has Hit A 3-Year High

A report by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) revealed that the country’s year-on-year headline inflation rate has hit a three-year high earlier this year, February 2018. Inflation picked up by 3.9 percent in February, 0.5 percent higher than the growth in January 2018 which was 3.4 percent. The last time the inflation rate in the country is this high was in September 2014.

According to PSA, the growth comes as the food and nonalcoholic beverages index reached 4.8 percent, and alcohol and tobacco, 16.9 percent. Other commodity groups that had higher annual increases include clothing and footwear at 2 percent, furnishing, household equipment, and routine maintenance of the house at 2.5 percent, transport at 5.8 percent, and restaurant and miscellaneous goods and services at 2.5 percent. Food alone had an annual mark-up of 4.8 percent compared to the 4.6 percent in January and 3.2 percent in February 2017.

However, PSA noted that many of the essential expenses such as the housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels had lower annual hikes, which were just at 2.6 percent. On the other hand, the communication and recreation and culture also were low, each at 0.2 and 1.4 percent respectively. Other commodity groups that did not see any hike retained their previous rates. Meanwhile, consumer prices moved at a slower rate of 0.8 from last month,compared to the 0.9 percent rated posted in January.

In National Capital Region (NCR), annual inflation remain to be unchanged, with a rate of 4.7 percent as of January 18 this year.   Despite this, NCR’s food and non-alcoholic beverages index saw a higher annual increase at 6.6 percent. Unsurprisingly, the region’s alcoholic beverages and tobacco had a double-digit annual mark-up at 21.2 percent.

For regions outside NCR, inflation grew at 3.7 percent as of February 2018 compared to January which was at 3.1 percent. All regions except Region IV-B (MIMAROPA) and Region XI (Davao Region) had higher inflation last February. On the other hand, the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) had the highest annual rate at 6.0 percent. The indices of food and non-alcoholic beverages outside of NCR rose to 4.5 percent while alcoholic beverages and tobacco reached 16.0 percent. Among the commodities that had faster annual gains were clothing and footwear, household equipment and maintenance, health, transport, education, and restaurant and miscellaneous goods.

Despite this, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) assured that it is no cause of alarm. They noted that the rise in consumer prices is temporary as the effects of tax reform kick in, and that it is expected to get back to normal by 2019.

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