Philippines Inflation Rate Slows to 3.2% in March


Year-on-year headline inflation rate in the Philippines decelerated to 3.2 percent in March from 3.4 percent in February, as prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages, utilities and transport recorded slower increases during the month.

Year-on-Year, the mark-up in the heavily-weighted food and non-alcoholic beverages index at the national level decelerated to 2.8 percent in March from 2.9 percent in February; housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels index, 2.1 percent from 2.6 percent; furnishing, household equipment and routine maintenance of the house index, 4.7 percent from 5.0 percent; and transport and communication indices, 0.5 percent from 1.0 percent and 0.7 percent, respectively. The rest of the commodity groups have higher annual increments with the indices of health and education retaining their respective last month’s annual rates of 3.2 percent and 4.4 percent.

The annual inflation rate for food alone index in the Philippines slowed to 2.8 percent in March from 3.0 percent in February.
 
An annual decrease of 5.9 percent was still posted in oils and fats index.  In addition, slower annual growths were observed in all the other food groups except in the indices of vegetables; sugar, jam, honey, chocolate and confectionery; and food products not elsewhere classified.
 
Excluding selected food and energy items, annual core inflation remained at its February rate of 3.8 percent.
 
The month-on-month inflation at the national level eased to 0.1 percent in March from 0.3 percent in February. It resulted from the declines in the prices of food items such as rice, corn, meat, fish, cooking oil, fruits, vegetables and selected condiments and seasonings and price reductions in gasoline, diesel and auto gas in NCR. Contributing also to the downtrend was the slower monthly upward adjustments in the prices of alcoholic beverages and tobacco in all the regions.
 
The index for food and non-alcoholic beverages went down by 0.1 percent in March from its February growth rate of 0.1 percent. In addition, the monthly hike in alcoholic beverages and tobacco index improved to 2.4 percent from a double-digit growth of 10.6 percent. The rest of the commodity groups have either higher monthly upticks or retained their respective last month’s rate with the indices for transport, communication and education recording a zero growth.
 

National Statistics Office | Joana Taborda | joana.taborda@tradingeconomics.com
4/5/2013 10:52:44 AM