Philippine Inflation at 4.4% in January

The Philippine’s annual headline inflation at the beginning of 2019 continued to move at a slower pace of 4.4%, according to data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA). Its annual rate in December 2018 was 5.1 percent and in January 2018, 3.4 percent. This was primarily due to the slowdown in the annual increment of the index for the heavily-weighted food and non-alcoholic beverages at 5.6 percent, from 6.7 percent in December 2018.

Lower annual increases noted in the indices of the following commodity groups also contributed to the downtrend of the headline inflation rate: alcoholic beverages and tobacco, 16.1%; clothing and footwear, 2.5%; housing, water, electricity, gas, and other fuels, 4.0; health, 4.3%; and transport, 2.5%.

Meanwhile, the annual rate of furnishing, household equipment and routine maintenance of the house index went up at a faster pace of 3.9%. The rest of the commodity groups retained their previous month’s annual rates.

Excluding selected food and energy items, core inflation eased further to 4.4% in January 2019. In the previous month, core inflation was recorded at 4.7% and in January 2018, 2.6%.

The annual inflation rate for food index at the national level decelerated further to 5.1% in January 2019. In the previous month, its annual rate was noted at 6.3% and in January 2018, 4.6%.

All the food groups registered slower annual increases during the month, compared with their annual rates in the previous month.

National Capital Region (NCR)

Similarly, year-on-year inflation in NCR continued to slowdown as it registered an annual rate of 4.6% in January 2019. Inflation settled to 4.8% in December 2018, and 4.7% in January 2018. Slower annual hikes were observed in the indices of alcoholic beverages and tobacco at 10.8%; clothing and footwear, 2.5%; and transport, 4.7%.

The rest of the commodity groups either had higher annual increments or retained their previous month’s annual rates.

Areas Outside NCR (AONCR)

Following the same trend as the national level and the National Capital Region, annual inflation in AONCR slid further to 4.4% in January 2019. Inflation in the previous month was 5.3% and in January 2018, 3.1%.

Lower annual upticks were registered in the indices of the following commodity groups:

  • Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages, 5.6%;
  • Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco, 17,2%;
  • Clothing and Footwear, 2.5%;
  • Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas, and Other Fuels, 3.7%;
  • Health, 4.1%; and
  • Transport, 1.8%.

The other commodity groups either had higher annual gains or retained their previous month’s annual rates.

Relative to their annual increments in the previous month, all the regions in AONCR had slower annual increases in January 2019. The lowest inflation among the regions in AONCR was still observed in Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) at 3.1%, while the highest annual mark-up remained in Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) at 6.1%.

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