The headline inflation rate at the national level further decelerated to 5.1 percent in December 2018. In the previous month, inflation was posted at 6.0 percent and in December 2017, 2.9 percent. The slowdown of inflation in December 2018 was mainly driven by the slower annual increments in the indices of food and non-alcoholic beverages at 6.7 percent and transport at 4.0 percent. Lower annual increases in the indices of the following commodity groups during the month also contributed to the downtrend:
- Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco, 21.7%;
- Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas and Other Fuels, 4.1%;
- Furnishing, Household Equipment and Routine Maintenance of the House, 3.8%; and
- Restaurant and Miscellaneous Goods and Services, 4.3%.
On the other hand, higher annual mark-ups were noted in the indices clothing and footwear at 2.8 percent and health at 4.8 percent during the period. The rest of the commodity groups retained their previous month’s annual rates (see Tables 3 and 4).
Annual average headline inflation at the national level for the year 2018 picked up by 5.2 percent from 2.9 percent in 2017.
Compared to 2017 average rates, the annual average hikes in 2018 were higher in the indices of all the commodity groups, except for clothing and footwear, communication, and education. The annual average inflation in 2018 for clothing and footwear, and communication were the same as their respective 2017 annual average inflation rates of 2.4 percent and 0.3 percent while that for education dropped by 0.8 percent from 2.5 percent in 2017 (see Table 3).
Excluding selected food and energy items, core inflation eased to 4.7 percent in December 2018. In the previous month, core inflation was observed at 5.1 percent and in December 2017, 2.2 percent. The annual average core inflation, likewise, rose by 4.2 percent in 2018 from 2.4 percent in 2017 (see Table 9).
A lower annual rate of 6.3 percent was still noted in the country’s food alone index in December 2018. Annual growth in the previous month was observed at 7.7 percent and in December 2017, 3.6 percent (see Table 7).
Indexes for all the food groups registered slower annual increments in December 2018 compared with their previous month’s annual rates, except for other cereals, flour, cereal preparation, bread, pasta and other bakery products which exhibited a higher annual gain of 4.1 percent; and food products not elsewhere classified at 5.9 percent (see Table 5).
National Capital Region (NCR)
In NCR, inflation further slowed down to 4.8 percent in December 2018. In the previous month, inflation stood at 5.6 percent and in December 2017, 4.2 percent. The downtrend was attributed to slower annual increases in the indices of food and non-alcoholic beverages at 5.1 percent; alcoholic beverages and tobacco, 20.8 percent; transport, 6.4 percent; and restaurant and miscellaneous goods and services, 4.7 percent. The rest of the commodity groups, however, either had higher annual add-ons or retained their previous month’s annual rates (see Tables 3 and 4).
The annual average inflation in the area picked up by 5.5 percent in 2018 from 3.7 percent in 2017 (see Table 3).
Areas Outside NCR (AONCR)
Annual inflation in AONCR continued to move at a slower pace of 5.3 percent in December 2018. In the previous month, inflation settled to 6.2 percent and in December 2017, 2.5 percent.
Lower annual rates were recorded in the indices of food and non-alcoholic beverages at 7.1 percent; housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels, 3.9 percent; furnishing, household equipment and routine maintenance of the house, 4.0 percent; and transport, 3.3 percent. A higher annual increment of 4.8 percent was, however, noticed in health index. The rest of the commodity groups retained their previous month’s rates (see Tables 3 and 4).
All the regions in AONCR recorded slower annual inflation in December 2018 compared with their previous month’s annual rates. Among the regions, the lowest annual mark-up of 3.4 percent was observed in Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), while the highest annual rate of 7.5 percent was seen in Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) (see Table 4).
The annual average inflation in AONCR went up by 5.1 percent in 2018 from 2.7 percent in 2017 (see Table 3).
Note: CPIs and inflation rates by province and selected cities are also available upon request at Price Statistics Division (Telephone Number: 376-19-59).
(Sgd) LISA GRACE S. BERSALES, Ph.D.
National Statistician and Civil Registrar General
See more at the CPI and Inflation Rate page.