‘Decrease in inflation not felt by consumers’
THE decrease in the country’s inflation was not felt by the consumers, a local labor group leader said.
Wennie Sancho, secretary-general of the General Alliance of Workers Associations (Gawa), yesterday said there was no significant decrease in the prices of basic goods and services.
Sancho said “significant” means something concrete. If there’s really a decrease, very minimal and negligible for the consumers.
“There is nothing to be happy about,” he said, adding that the slight decrease in inflation is not a relief also.
The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported on Wednesday that inflation slowed down to six percent in November from 6.7 percent in October.
The PSA said food and fuel prices were significantly lower last month.
Slowdowns in the annual increase were noted in the indices of food and non-alcoholic beverages at 8.0 percent; housing, water, electricity, gas, and other fuels at 4.2 percent; and communication at 0.4 percent, it added.
For the local labor group, the slight decline is not enough to cover up possible adverse effects of impending rounds of increases in the prices of fuel.
“Once the cost of petroleum products increases, it is expected that prices of basic goods and services will also shoot up,” its secretary general said.
Meanwhile, the November inflation rate is within the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) forecast range of 5.8 percent to 6.6 percent.
It is also slower than the 6.3 percent estimate of the Department of Finance (DOF).
BSP governor Nestor Espenilla Jr., in a report, said last month’s headline inflation at 6.0 percent is very encouraging.
Espenilla said it confirms that inflation is heading back to the two to four percent target range in response to nonmonetary measures to curb food prices as well as favorable recent developments in highly volatile international oil prices.
“Strong monetary action has significantly reinforced the anti-inflation process through the expectations route and a firmer peso. However, its more direct impact on economic activity will take a longer time to take hold,” he added.*