July Inflation Picks Up, The Highest Since January 2020
According to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) on Wednesday, prices of basic goods have seen a surge in July, due to the sustained strike in transport costs.
The month of July concluded with an inflation rate of 2.7 percent from 2.5 percent in June. This is the highest inflation rate since January this year, and it has sustained a three-month straight increase. The average inflation rate from January to July 2020 has been 2.5 percent, from 3.3 percent during the same period in 2019, according to PSA.
The National Statistician Dennis Mapa said during a press briefing that transportation costs saw the biggest increase year-on-year. This is increase is due to higher commuter fees, where tricycle fares surged by 34 percent which continued June’s trend. The reason behind this said increase is that tricycles are the first public utility vehicle units to operate in most areas, and passenger capacity was limited to just one passenger per trip.
Meanwhile, domestic airfares also posted a 12.6 percent spike, ferry boat rides seen a 27.7 percent increase compared to July 2019, data showed. Other items that have seen a surge in pricing were cooking gas, home rentals, and running water, as well as expenses incurred for restaurant meals, barbershops, and personal care.
Food prices accounted for the bulk of the overall inflation rate, and it saw mixed movements. While meat prices went up by almost 5 percent, the cost of rice, sugar, and corn went down year-on-year. Fish, fruits, and vegetable prices softened compared to a month ago. Meanwhile, health-related expenses steadied versus a year ago.
By location, provinces have seen a faster inflation rate at 2.9 percent versus a 2.2 percent average in Metro Manila. It was highest in Bicol at 4.2 percent.
BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno said in an interview that inflation will remain largely benign for the rest of 2020, and is expected to stay within the 2-4 percent desired range.