The country’s annual headline inflation continued to move up at a faster pace of 3.1 percent in August 2017. In the previous month, it increased by 2.8 percent and in August 2016, 1.8 percent. This was mainly due to the 3.5 percent growth of the heavily-weighted food and non-alcoholic beverages index. Contributing also to the uptrend were the higher annual hikes in the indices of the following commodity groups:
- Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco (6.3%);
- Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas and Other fuels (2.8%);
- Transport (4.4%);
- Communication (0.3%);
- Recreation and Culture (1.4%); and
- Restaurant and Miscellaneous Goods and Services (2.2%).
The rest of the commodity groups either had slower annual add-ons or retained their previous month’s rates (see Tables 6 and 8).
Excluding selected food and energy items, core inflation, likewise, climbed by 3.0 percent in August 2017. It was pegged at 2.8 percent in the previous month and 2.0 percent in August 2016 (see Table 15).
The annual growth of the food alone index at the national level accelerated by 3.7 percent in August 2017. In the previous month, it was recorded at 3.4 percent and in August 2016, 2.5 percent (see Table 13).
Faster annual increments were observed in the indices of other cereals, flour, cereal preparation, bread, pasta and other bakery products at 1.7 percent; fish, 9.2 percent; and food products not elsewhere classified, 0.7 percent. In addition, the corn index posted an annual growth of 0.4 percent from -0.1 percent and vegetables index, 3.6 percent from -0.3 percent. Annual upticks in the other food groups were either slower or remained at their previous month’s rate with the index for sugar, jam, honey, chocolate and confectionery still registering a negative annual adjustment at -2.7 percent (see Table 10).
|Year-on-Year Inflation Rates in the Philippines, All Items
January 2012 - August 2017
National Capital Region (NCR)
Similarly, inflation in NCR picked up by 4.0 percent in August 2017. A 3.8 percent annual growth was noticed in the previous month and 1.2 percent in August 2016. The double-digit annual growth in transport index further expanded to 11.0 percent. Faster annual increments were also observed in the indices of the following commodity groups:
- Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco (7.8%);
- Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas an other Fuels (2.2%);
- Communication (0.8%);
- Recreation and Culture (2.5%); and
- Restaurant and Miscellaneous Goods and Services (4.4%).
The rest of the commodity groups had lower annual gains except for the education index which retained its previous month’s rate of 1.7 percent (see Tables 6 and 8).
Areas Outside NCR (AONCR)
Following the same trend, inflation in AONCR advanced by 2.8 percent August 2017. A month ago, the rate stood at 2.6 percent and in August 2016, 2.0 percent. The annual growth in food and non-alcoholic beverages index gained momentum at 3.3 percent in August 2017; housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels index, 3.0 percent; and transport index, 2.6 percent. On the other hand, slower annual growths were seen in the indices of clothing and footwear at 1.9 percent and restaurant and miscellaneous goods and services, 1.2 percent. The rest of the commodity groups retained their previous month’s rate (see Tables 6 and 8).
Higher annual increments were registered in all the regions except in Central Visayas, SOCCSKSARGEN and Caraga Region. The highest annual inflation of 5.2 percent remained in Bicol Region while the lowest rate at 1.0 percent was still recorded in SOCCSKSARGEN (see Table 8).
Prices of consumer items in the country went up by 0.3 percent in August. It was the same rate posted in the previous month. The heavily-weighted food and non-alcoholic beverages index picked up by 0.4 percent from -0.1 percent in July. Moreover, higher monthly rates were noted in the indices of alcoholic beverages and tobacco at 0.4 percent; housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels, 0.5 percent; and recreation and culture, 0.3 percent. The communication index inched up by 0.1 percent after it registered a zero growth in the previous month. The rest of the commodity groups either had slower growth or retained their previous month’s rate except for the education index which had a zero growth (see Table 7).
- The difficulty in transporting vegetables from the Northern Luzon areas due to series of typhoons that hit the country during the month lowered the volume of vegetable supply in the markets. This triggered higher prices of vegetables particularly cabbage, carrot, chayote and tomatoes in several markets in Luzon areas. Moreover, highland vegetables such as potato and eggplant which were prone to rotting during the rainy season were also priced higher in all the regions.
- Limited fishing trips brought about by the stormy weather conditions resulted to lower supplies of fish in the markets, thereby pushing up their prices in many regions.
- Prices of rice and fruits such as mango, banana and papaya, likewise, went up during the month. On the other hand, prices of chicken, pork and beef were lower in selected regions including NCR.
- Higher charges for water and electricity rates and upward adjustments in airplane and ship fares were noted in NCR and selected provinces during the month. Increased prices of gasoline and diesel were also observed nationwide.
- Prices of Marawi City in Lanao del Sur were imputed for August 2017 based on the price movements of commodities of the nearest province, Lanao del Norte. The province of Lanao del Sur still was not able to conduct price surveys in Marawi City due to the current peace and order problem in the area.
- Core CPI in July 2017 was revised due to the updated price survey reports received in selected provinces.
- CPIs and inflation rates by province and selected city are also available upon request at Philippine Statistics Authority, Economic Sector Statistics Service, Price Statistics Division (Telephone Number: 376-19-59).
(Sgd) LISA GRACE S. BERSALES, Ph.D.
National Statistician and Civil Registrar General