WV inflation up by 3.5% in November

The inflation, or the rate of increase in consumer prices, in Western Visayas jumped to 3.5 percent in November from 2.5 percent in October, the Philippine Statistics Authority said today, December 4.

The national headline has also increased to 3.3 percent in November from 2.5 percent in the previous month, the PSA said.

The national inflation in November last year was 1.3 percent.

The annual increase of 4.3 percent in the heavily-weighted food and non-alcoholic beverages primarily pushed up the overall inflation in November, PSA said.

Also contributing to the uptrend in the overall inflation during the month was the higher annual increment noted in alcoholic beverages and tobacco at 12.3 percent.

Meanwhile, annual mark-ups decelerated in the indices of the rest of the commodity groups, except for recreation and culture which remained at -0.6 percent.

Inflation for food index at the national level also picked up further to 4.5 percent in November from 2.1 percent in the previous month.

Among the regions outside Manila, Bicol remained with the highest inflation in November as it further increased to 5.5 percent from 4.1 percent, followed by Cagayan Valley with 5.2 percent from 3 percent, and CALABARZON with 4.1 percent from 2.6 percent, while Central Visayas continue to have the lowest inflation rate with 1.1 percent.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, in a statement, said the November national inflation percent was slightly higher than their forecast range which was between 2.4 to 3.2 percent, driven mainly by higher food inflation, particularly for vegetables, fish, fruits, and meat.

It added that inflation is expected to settle within the government’s target range of 3 for 2020–2022 as the impact of supply disruptions due to the recent weather disturbances is expected to be largely transitory.

Downside risks to the global and domestic economic environment continue to persist despite the recent progress in the development of several vaccines for COVID-19, it said, adding that logistical challenges in the distribution of a vaccine would have to be addressed before the recovery could resume.

BSP also said that uncertainty remains elevated following the resurgence of cases globally, adding that the re-imposition of lockdowns could further dampen economic prospects.

“The potential scarring effects of the pandemic on the entire economy poses challenges as consumers, businesses, and policymakers adjust to the post-pandemic conditions,” it stressed.*MPE