The year 2018 started off with a higher national headline inflation rate of 4.0 percent. Inflation in December 2017 was posted at 3.3 percent and in January 2017, 2.7 percent. The uptrend was primarily due to the higher annual increment in the heavily-weighted food and non-alcoholic beverages index as it accelerated by 4.5 percent from previous month’s growth of 3.5 percent. Moreover, the index for alcoholic beverages and tobacco registered double-digit annual mark-up at 12.3 percent in January 2018 from 6.4 percent in December 2017. Higher annual increases were also recorded in the indices of the following commodity groups:
- Furnishing, Household Equipment and Routine Maintenance of the House (2.0%);
- Health (2.6%)
- Transport (3.2%); and
- Restaurant and Miscellaneous Goods and Services (3.7%).
The other commodity groups either had slower annual add-ons or retained their previous month’s rate (see Tables 6 and 8).
Excluding selected food and energy items, core inflation picked up by 3.9 percent in January 2018. In the previous month, core inflation was observed at 3.0 percent and during the same month in 2017, 2.5 percent (see Table 15).
A higher annual increase was noted in the country’s food alone index at 4.5 percent in January. It was pegged at 3.7 percent a month ago and 3.6 percent in January 2017 (see Table 13).
The annual rate of vegetables index went up by 1.8 percent in January from -0.9 percent in December. Moreover, all the other food groups had higher annual mark-ups except for the indices in food products not elsewhere classified and sugar, jam, honey, chocolate and confectionary (see Table 10).
|Year-on-Year Inflation Rates in the Philippines, All Items
January 2013 - January 2018
National Capital Region (NCR)
In NCR, annual inflation accelerated by 5.4 percent in January 2018. In the previous month, inflation in the area was pegged at 4.6 percent and in January 2017, 3.0 percent. This was due to higher annual uptick in the index of food and non-alcoholic beverages at 5.2 percent and the double-digit annual growth recorded in the index of alcoholic beverages and tobacco at 12.2 percent. Contributing also to the uptrend were the higher annual gains seen in the indices of the following commodity groups:
- Furnishing, Household Equipment and Routine Maintenance of the House (2.5%);
- Health (4.0%);
- Transport (8.9%); and
- Restaurant and Miscellaneous Goods and Services (9.8%).
On the other hand, slower annual increments were observed in the indices of clothing and footwear at 1.6 percent and recreation and culture, 2.7 percent. Annual adjustments in the indices of communication and education remained at 1.0 percent and 1.7 percent, respectively (see Tables 6 and 8).
Areas Outside NCR (AONCR)
Following the same trend, inflation in AONCR went up by 3.5 percent in January 2018. It was posted at 2.9 percent in the previous month and 2.7 percent during the same period a year ago. A higher annual mark-up of 4.3 percent was registered in food and non-alcoholic beverages index. Moreover, the index of alcoholic beverages and tobacco exhibited double-digit annual growth of 12.3 percent. Likewise, faster annual increases were noted in the indices of the following commodity groups:
Five regions exhibited higher annual inflation during the month. The Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) still recorded the highest annual gain of 5.3 percent while the lowest annual rate was noted in Cordillera Administrative Region at 1.8 percent (see Table 8).
- Clothing and Footwear and Furnishing, Household Equipment and Routine Maintenance of the House (1.9%);
- Health (2.1%);
- Transport (1.6%); and
- Restaurant and Miscellaneous Goods and Services (1.3%).
On the contrary, the annual hike in housing, water, electricity, gas, and other fuels index slowed down to 3.6 percent while the rest of commodity groups retained their previous month’s rate (see Tables 6 and 8).
Thirteen regions recorded higher annual inflation during the month. The highest annual rate of 5.8 percent was still noticed in Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) while the lowest was seen in Central Luzon at 2.5 percent (see Table 8).
Consumer prices at the start of the year generally increased by 1.0 percent. In December 2017, the growth was pegged at 0.3 percent. This was primarily attributed to higher annual growth in food and non-alcoholic beverages and tobacco index at 1.5 percent and in alcoholic beverages and tobacco index at 5.9 percent. Moreover, faster rates were posted in the indices of the following commodity groups:
- Clothing and Footwear (0.5%);
- Furnishing, Household Equipment and Routine Maintenance of the House (0.4%);
- Health (0.7%); and
- Restaurant and Miscellaneous Goods and Services (0.9%).
The index for housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels also picked up by 0.1 percent after registering a 0.1 percent decline in the previous month. The rest of the commodity groups either retained their previous month’s rate or had zero growth (see Tables 5 and 7).
The weather disturbances occurred during the month affected supplies of fish and vegetables in the markets. This factor pushed up their prices in most of the regions. Prices of rice, fruits, butter, margarine, cooking oil, eggs, selected condiments and seasonings were also higher in many regions.
The implementation of Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law this month raised prices of cigarettes and alcoholic beverages in most of the regions. Meals eaten outside the home and some items for personal care also went up in many regions. Higher global crude oil prices caused prices of gasoline and diesel to shoot up during the period. Upward adjustments in ship fares were likewise seen in many provinces.
Lower charges in electricity rates were, however, noted in NCR and in many provinces during the month.
- Price movements of the commodities from the sample municipalities of Lanao del Sur were used to impute the prices for Marawi City for January 2018.
- 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