The Philippine Statistics Authority recently reported that the inflation rate of Western Visayas has increased to 3.5 percent in November from 2.5 percent in October.

This is also higher than the national headline which is 3.3 percent, that also increased in November from 2.5 percent in the previous month.

For the region, the food and non-alcoholic beverages commodity group contributed to the uptrend, from 0.9 percent in the previous month to 2.3 percent in November.

Likewise, the heavily-weighted food and non-alcoholic beverages also pushed up the overall inflation in November, as well as the higher annual increment noted in alcoholic beverages and tobacco, PSA said.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said the November national inflation was slightly higher than their forecast range which was between 2.4 to 3.2 percent.

Inflation pressures in November were traced mainly to higher inflation for food items due to weather-related supply disruptions while the African Swine Fever (ASF) continued to adversely affect pork supply, which led to higher price increases for meat, BSP said.

The latest inflation outturn remains in line with the BSP’s prevailing assessment that inflation is likely to settle within the lower half of the target band for 2020 up to 2022, with the balance of risks to the inflation outlook still tilted toward the downside owing largely to potential disruptions to domestic and global economic activity amid the ongoing pandemic, it said.

The year is almost over, but we have to remain hopeful, perhaps watchful, that economic activities in the region will improve for sustainable growth.*