CONSUMER PRICE INDEX (1988=100) : MARCH 1998
Release Date: 06 April 1998
Measured from a year ago, the national inflation rate slightly slowed down to 7.3 percent in March from 7.4 percent last month. The index was estimated at 253.0 in March from 251.4 in February.
- Month-on Month
On a month-on-month basis, prices increased by 0.6 percent in March from 1.4 percent in February.
- By Commodity Group, Year-on-Year
- Among the commodity groups, food, beverages and tobacco (FBT) and fuel, light and water (FLW) recorded slower rates in March at 4.5 percent and 8.4 percent compared to their corresponding rates of 4.9 percent and 9.2 percent in February. Other groups registered higher inflation rates in March except for housing and repairs (H&R) whose inflation rate remained at its previous month's level of 10.3 percent. The rates for clothing rose to 5.3 percent from 5.1 percent; services, 16.0 percent from 15.4 percent; and miscellaneous items, 6.1 percent from 5.1 percent
- The inflation rate for food alone was 4.5 percent in March, lower than the 5.0 percent recorded in February. Lower rates were noted in the prices of rice, 2.5 percent from 3.7 percent; and fish, 7.1 percent from 9.2 percent. However, higher rates were posted in corn, 0.4 percent from -0.2 percent; cereal preparations, 8.2 percent from 8.0 percent; dairy products, 11.7 percent from 11.5 percent; fruits and vegetables, 2.2 percent from 2.1 percent; meat, 4.1 percent from 3.9 percent; miscellaneous foods, 5.4 percent from 4.7 percent; and meals eaten outside, 4.2 percent from 3.8 percent. On the other hand, inflation for eggs remained at its previous month's rate of 5.5 percent.
- In Metro Manila (MM), the rates for FBT, clothing, H&R and FLW were correspondingly lower by 0.7 percentage point; 0.9 percentage point, 1.9 percentage points, and 0.3 percentage point. However, the rates for services and miscellaneous items were both higher by 1.0 percentage point.
- The inflation for food alone in MM slowed down to 2.3 percent from 3.2 percent in February. Annual rates were lower in the prices of rice, 0.2 percent from 0.6 percent; dairy products, 11.8 percent from 13.9 percent; eggs, 5.3 percent from 6.7 percent; fish, 6.0 percent from 13.1 percent; and miscellaneous foods, 2.7 percent from 3.1 percent. However, higher rates were registered in the prices of corn, 8.4 percent from 6.8 percent; fruits and vegetables, -8.1 percent from -10.4 percent; and meat, 3.7 percent from 3.5 percent. The rate for cereal preparations remained at 5.5 percent.
- For areas outside Metro Manila (AOMM), four commodity groups recorded higher inflation rates in March compared to the previous month. The clothing index rose by 0.5 percentage point; H&R, 1.8 percentage points; services, 0.3 percentage point; and miscellaneous items, 1.0 percentage point. The rates for FBT and FLW were correspondingly lower by 0.3 percentage point and 1.0 percentage point.
- The inflation rate for food alone slowed down to 5.1 percent from 5.5 percent in February. The inflation rate for rice at 2.8 percent was slower than the 4.1 percent recorded last month. Nine regions registered slowdowns in inflation rates from their corresponding levels in February. Bicol region recorded the biggest decrease of 4.1 percentage points, bringing down its inflation rate to -0.6 percent while Western Visayas registered the highest inflation rate at 6.8 percent. Similarly, inflation rates for fish and fruits and vegetables were correspondingly lower at 7.3 percent from 8.5 percent and 4.7 percent from 5.1 percent. However, prices of corn increased by 0.6 percentage point; cereal preparations, eggs and meat, all by 0.3 percentage point; dairy products and miscellaneous foods, both by 1.0 percentage point; and meals eaten outside, 0.6 percentage point.
- By Region, Year-on-Year
- The inflation rate for Metro Manila slowed down to 7.6 percent in March from 8.4 percent last month.
- AOMM registered a rate of 7.2 percent from 7.1 percent last month. The biggest increase was noted in Autonomus Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) at 1.3 percentage points followed by Southern Tagalog at 0.8 percentage point and Cagayan Valley and Northern Mindanao both at 0.5 percentage point. ARMM recorded the highest inflation rate at 12.6 percent while Eastern Visayas posted the lowest rate at 5.0 percent.
- By Commodity Group, Month-on-Month
- All the commodity groups posted lower month-on-month inflation rates with FLW declining by -0.1 percent in March from 2.0 percent in February. FBT slowed down to 0.5 percent from 1.2 percent; clothing, 0.5 percent from 1.3 percent; H&R, 1.1 percent from 1.8 percent; services, 0.7 percent from 1.1 percent; and miscellaneous items, 1.1 percent from 1.8 percent.
- The price of rice continued to increase but at a slower rate of 0.5 percent compared to 0.9 percent in February. Twelve regions posted positive rates ranging from 0.1 percent in Southern Mindanao to 1.6 percent in Western Visayas. The lowest rate was posted in Central Luzon at -0.2 percent.
- Corn prices were up by 0.5 percent after a decline of -0.3 percent in February as Metro Manila and AOMM indices increased correspondingly by 1.1 percent and 0.5 percent.
- Cereal preparations posted an increment of 0.7 percent at the national level and AOMM and 0.8 percent in Metro Manila as prices of flour, bread and noodles continued to increase in March. The national increase was still lower than the 2.1 percent in February.
- The dairy products index was still on the uptrend with the national index recording a 1.0 percent increase in March; Metro Manila, 0.7 percent; and AOMM, 1.2 percent as prices of milk continued to go up in most of the regions.
- Prices of eggs increased by 0.4 percent.
- Fish prices declined in Metro Manila at -3.3 percent due to abundant supply of fish particularly those belonging to the tuna family. This resulted to a -0.4 percent decrease in the aggregate index.
- The fruits and vegetables index was up by 1.3 percent in the Philippines, 6.7 percent in Metro Manila and 0.2 percent in AOMM as supply went low brought about by the drought conditions.
- Meat prices increased by 1.0 percent in MM as chicken prices were up and by 0.3 percent in AOMM resulting to a 0.5 percent increase in the national index.
- The miscellaneous foods index went up by 0.6 percent in the Philippines as prices of sugar, calamansi, coffee, cooking oil and seasonings increased in MM and in many regions in AOMM.
- Meals eaten outside also went up by 0.7 percent and 1.2 percent in the Philippines and AOMM, respectively.
- The H&R index posted a 1.1 percent increment due to increases in rentals and prices of construction materials like cement, gravel, sand, hollow blocks, lumber, plywood, G.I sheets, paints and common wire nails along with the wages of carpenter, plumber and electrician.
- The miscellaneous items index recorded a 1.1 percent increment brought about by the increase in the prices of laundry soap, toothpaste, floorwax, broom, shampoo, bath soap and some personal and home appliances.
- Services registered an increment of 0.7 percent due to the increase in the prices of medicines, medical and dental charges, admission fees, engine oil, automobile tire and higher wage for domestic helper.
- The clothing index increased by 0.5 percent in the Philippines resulting from 0.1 percent and 0.6 percent upticks in Metro Manila and AOMM, respectively. This was due to the price increases in footwear and ready-made apparel along with the higher charge for sewing.
- The FLW index went down by -0.1 percent in the national level and -1.6 percent in MM as prices of LPG and kerosene decreased along with lower currency exchange rate adjustment (CERA) for electricity rates.
- By Region, Month-on-Month
- Prices in Metro Manila slowed down to 0.4 percent from 1.5 percent last month. Lower rates were registered in FBT, 0.3 percentage point; clothing, 1.5 percentage points; H&R, 1.9 percentage points; and miscellaneous items, 0.5 percentage point. On the other hand, FLW, declined by 5.1 percentage points while services increased by 0.1 percentage point.
- In AOMM, prices increased by 0.7 percent in March which was lower than the 1.3 percent posted last month. Except for H&R whose month-on-month rate went up by 0.5 percentage point, all the other commodity groups slowed down from their previous month's rates, i.e. FBT, 0.8 percentage point; clothing, 0.5 percentage point; FLW, 1.1 percentage points; services and miscellaneous items, 0.6 percentage point. Slowdowns were recorded in the month-on-month inflation of eleven regions. The highest rate was registered in Southern Tagalog and ARMM both at 1.3 percent while the lowest in Central Visayas at -0.2 percent.
Source: National Statistics Office
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