Inflation climbs to 2.6% in December
slightly rose to 2.6 percent in December, bringing full-year 2016 inflation to 1.8 percent, the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) said Thursday.
“The uptick in inflation last month was caused by price increases partly due to the holiday season and supply constraints on some food items,” said Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia.
The full-year 2016 inflation of 1.8 percent is below the government’s target range of 2.0 to 4.0 percent for the year, but higher than the 1.4 percent of 2015.
Food inflation for December increased to 3.7 percent from 3.5 percent in the previous month, and higher than the 1.8 percent in the same period in 2015. Faster increases in the prices of bread and cereals (1.6 percent from 1.5 percent), fish (5.5 percent from 4.7 percent), and meat (1.8 percent from 1.5 percent) were recorded.
Non-food inflation for December was pushed by transport (1.9 percent from 0.5 percent in November) and recreation and culture (1.7 percent from 1.6 percent in November). The faster spike in transport costs can be traced to the considerable increases in domestic petrol prices such as unleaded
gasoline (10.0 percent from 3.98 percent) and diesel (16.04 percent from 7.41 percent).
“The higher prices in transport commodity reflected the hike in international oil prices caused by oil-producing countries’decision to cut oil production by almost 1.8 million barrels per day,” said Per ni a.
Core inflation, which excludes selected volatile food and energy prices, also inched up to 2.5 percent in December 2015 from 2.4 percent in the previous month. The 2016 full year core inflation averaged at 1.9 percent, still lower than the 2.0 percent recorded in 2015.
For 2017 and 2018, the government expects inflation to be within the target range of 2.0 to 4.0 percent. This already considers the scenario of higher oil prices, pending petitions for adjustments in electricity rates, but especially, strong domestic economic activity, Pernia said. (SDR/ Sunnex)