‘De­crease in in­fla­tion not felt by con­sumers’

Sun Star Bacolod - - Business - BY ER­WIN P. NICAVERA

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.*

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