WV inflation slightly up in December

Inflation in Western Visayas has slightly increased to 3.7 percent in December from 3.5 percent in November, data from the Philippine Statistics Authority showed recently.

The national headline also went up to 3.5 percent from 3.3 percent in the previous month, PSA said.

The uptrend in inflation, or the rate of increase in consumer prices, was primarily due to the 4.8 percent inflation increase in heavily-weighted food and non-alcoholic beverages.

Moreover, annual increments were higher in the indices of health at 2.6 percent; transport, 8.3 percent; and restaurant and miscellaneous goods and services, at 2.5 percent.

On the other hand, inflation slowed down in the indices of alcoholic beverages and tobacco, 12.2 percent; housing, water, electricity, gas, and other fuels, 0.5 percent; furnishing, household equipment and routine maintenance of the house, 3.3 percent; and communication, 0.2 percent.

The Philippines’ annual average inflation for 2020 was posted at 2.6 percent, slightly higher than the 2.5 percent annual average inflation in 2019, PSA said.

Moreover, inflation in areas outside the National Capital Region also accelerated to 3.7 percent in December from 3.3 percent in the previous month, PSA said.

For the regions, both Bicol and Cagayan Valley posted the highest inflation rate with 6.6 percent, followed by Central Luzon with 4.5 percent, and MIMAROPA and CALABARZON with 4.4 percent each.

Central Visayas, meanwhile, has the lowest inflation rate in December with 0.9 percent.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), in a statement today, January 5, said that average year-on-year headline inflation was well within the government’s target range.

It also said that food inflation was higher in December as weather-related disturbances adversely affected domestic supply conditions.

“Year-on-year inflation of selected agricultural products, such as fruits and vegetables, increased in December while meat inflation also remained elevated, rising to double-digit rate. Similarly, non-food inflation also went up as higher international oil prices led to upward adjustments of domestic petroleum prices,” BSP said.

It added, “the BSP continues to expect inflation to settle within the target range over the policy horizon, with the overall balance of risks to future inflation continuing to lean toward the downside owing mainly to the lingering uncertainty caused by the pandemic on domestic and global economic activity.”*