FOOD AND SIN PRODUCTS CONTINUE TO WEIGH ON INFLATION
INFLATION surged anew in September to 6.7%, marking a fresh nine-year high, with the country’s economic managers blaming the strong typhoon last month that worsened food supply bottlenecks. This pushed the inflation’s nine-month average to five percent, an entire percentage point more than the ceiling of the official 2-4% full-year target albeit still below the central bank’s 5.2% forecast average for 2018. The heavily weighted food subindex recorded a 6.3% pace with corn (11.6%), meat (6.2%), fish and seafood (12.1%), fruits (5.8%) and vegetables (10%) having above-average inflation rates. Rice, which has a 9.6% weight in the consumer price index, clocked a 4.9% inflation rate. Other commodities that posted above five-percent rates were tobacco (26.3%), mineral water, soft drinks, fruit and vegetable juices (14.4%), wine (7.5%), and beer (7.2%).