In­fla­tion eases to 6.0 per­cent in Novem­ber

Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro - - Business -

THE head­line in­fla­tion eased to 6.0 per­cent in Novem­ber 2018 as a se­ries of oil price roll­backs slowed down the in­crease in prices of con­sumer goods.

Not count­ing se­lected food and en­ergy items, how­ever, the Philip­pine Statis­tics Au­thor­ity (PSA) re­ported Wed­nes­day, De­cem­ber 5, that core in­fla­tion con­tin­ued to move up­ward to 5.1 per­cent in Novem­ber from 4.9 per­cent in Oc­to­ber and 2.4 per­cent in Novem­ber 2017.

In a joint state­ment, the coun­try’s eco­nomic man­agers said the slow­down in price in­creases was a re­sult of the anti-in­fla­tion­ary mea­sures taken by the govern­ment.

The eco­nomic team com­posed of the Na­tional Eco­nomic and Devel­op­ment Au­thor­ity (Neda), De­part­ment of Fi­nance (DOF) and De­part­ment of Bud­get and Man­age­ment (DBM) - said the lat­est fig­ure points to “con­tin­u­ing re­duc­tion go­ing for­ward.”

“It is com­fort­ing for us that the slow­down will al­le­vi­ate the strug­gles of poor Filipinos, es­pe­cially now that the hol­i­day sea­son is just around the cor­ner,” the eco­nomic team said.

“This makes us even more de­ter­mined in curb­ing in­fla­tion and en­forc­ing all mea­sures to guar­an­tee food se­cu­rity,” they added.

The Novem­ber 2018 head­line in­fla­tion is lower than the 6.4 per­cent recorded in Au­gust and 6.7 per­cent recorded in Septem­ber and Oc­to­ber, in­di­cat­ing that the eco­nomic man­agers cor­rectly as­sessed that in­fla­tion had peaked in the third quar­ter.

The Novem­ber 2018 fig­ure is also well within the Bangko Sen­tral ng Pilip­inas (BSP) month-ahead fore­cast of 5.8 per­cent to 6.6 per­cent, but lower than the DOF es­ti­mate of 6.3 to 6.7 per­cent. It was, how­ever, dou­ble the 3.0 per­cent recorded in Novem­ber 2017.

As of Novem­ber 2018, year-to-date in­fla­tion av­er­aged 5.2 per­cent, just 1.2 per­cent­age points above the high end of the govern­ment’s in­fla­tion tar­get of 2.0 to 4.0 per­cent for this year.

The eco­nomic team said food and non-al­co­holic bev­er­ages con­tinue to be the main driv­ers of in­fla­tion.

The PSA said the food and non-al­co­holic bev­er­ages; hous­ing, wa­ter, elec­tric­ity, gas and other fu­els; and com­mu­ni­ca­tion com­mod­ity bas­kets reg­is­tered de­creases in Novem­ber.

“Slow­downs in the an­nual in­creases were noted in the in­dices of food and non-al­co­holic bev­er­ages at eight per­cent; hous­ing, wa­ter, elec­tric­ity, gas and other fu­els [at] 4.2 per­cent; and com­mu­ni­ca­tion [at] 0.4 per­cent,” the statis­tics agency said.

Pres­i­den­tial Spokesper­son Sal­vador Panelo de­scribed the PSA re­port as “good news.”

“The Palace ac­cepts this (in­fla­tion rate recorded in Novem­ber) as good news. We at­tribute this to the Pres­i­dent’s em­pa­thy to pub­lic clamor and his de­ci­sive ac­tion,” “Panelo said in a state­ment.

“We as­sure ev­ery­one that we will con­tinue to be vig­i­lant and mon­i­tor the prices of ba­sic goods and com­modi­ties to en­sure that hunger in­ci­dence and food in­se­cu­rity are erad­i­cated,” he added.

Duterte inked on Septem­ber 21 an ad­min­is­tra­tive or­der and three mem­o­randa to tame the soar­ing prices of goods and ba­sic com­modi­ties.

On Novem­ber 14, the Pres­i­dent also ap­proved the sus­pen­sion of the sec­ond round of in­creases in pe­tro­leum prod­ucts, but re­versed this de­ci­sion on Tues­day, De­cem­ber 3, be­cause of the de­clin­ing global oil prices. ( SunS­tar Philip­pines)

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