The Philippine annual headline inflation recorded its lowest rate in four years at 2.1 percent in August.
Data from the National Statistics Office (NSO) showed that August inflation eased from the 2.5 percent recorded in July as housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels index recorded an annual decrease. Inflation a year ago was 3.8 percent.
The data added that slower annual increases in the indices of food and non-alcoholic beverages; alcoholic beverages and tobacco; clothing and footwear; furnishing, household equipment and routine maintenance of the house; and transport also contributed to the downtrend.
Meanwhile, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) noted that the slower year-on-year increase of overall consumer prices resulted from reduction of prices in Metro Manila, and the slower price adjustments in areas outside Metro Manila.
NSO said that the annual rate in Metro Manila dropped by 0.1 percent in August from 1 percent in July, as annual declines were recorded in food and non-alcoholic beverages index and housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels index.
Lower annual inflation was also registered in the indices of alcoholic and beverages; clothing and footwear; furnishing, household equipment and routine maintenance of the house; and transport.
In areas outside Metro Manila, annual inflation further eased to 2.7 percent in August from 2.9 percent in July and attributed to slower annual increments in the indices of food and non-alcoholic beverages; alcoholic beverages and tobacco; clothing and footwear; housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels; transport and communication.
Furthermore, the NSO data said that core annual inflation moved up at a slower pace of 1.9 percent in August from 2.3 percent in July.
On a monthly basis, the country’s consumer prices generally went up 0.2 percent in August from 0.1 percent in July, resulting from the increments in the prices of rice.
Contributing to the uptrend were the increased prices of fish and fruits. Selected items for personal care and effects were also priced higher during the month.
For its part, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) on Thursday said that the inflation turn out for August was within its 1.9-percent to 2.9-percent forecast range for the month.
In a text message to reporters, BSP Governor Amando Tetangco Jr. said that inflation for the month supports the central bank’s assessment of benign inflation.
He also assured the public that the BSP will continue to closely monitor developments, particularly geopolitical concerns in the Middle East that may impact on the international prices of commodities as well as developments on the domestic front that may raise volatility in domestic prices.
“The BSP has room in its policy tool kit to mitigate potential adverse effects coming from these factors,” he stated.