Headline inflation could have accelerated to 1.5 percent last month due to higher food and fuel prices, among others, the Finance department said on Monday.
“Inflation rate for December is forecast to reach 1.5 percent, 0.4 percentage point higher than last month’s 1.1 percent but still lower than the 2.7 percent registered in the same period [in 2014],” the department said in its latest Economic Bulletin.
November inflation was significantly higher compared to the 0.4 percent recorded in October. Official December and full-year 2015 data are scheduled to be released today by the Philippine Statistics Authority.
The Finance department said the biggest contributors to the December increase would be transport inflation (from 0.6 percent to 1.3 percent), alcoholic beverages and tobacco (from 3.9 percent to 4.6 percent), food (from 1.7 percent to 2 percent), and recreation and culture (from 1 percent to 2 percent).
“Food is adversely affected by Typhoon Lando and holiday-related demand upsurge, transport by lagged effect of fuel prices and alcoholic beverages, recreation and culture due to the holiday demand,” the Finance department said.
“The recovery of food supply is very important after a strong typhoon; authorities can encourage and develop private sector sources of seeds and seedlings and look into alternative ways of replenishing lost stock (perhaps though imports from Association of Southeast Asian Nations),” it added.
Earlier, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and private analysts said December inflation probably remained at 1.1 percent or accelerated to 1.9 percent.
The full-year forecast range from analysts was 1.4 percent to 1.5 percent, basically in line with the central bank’s 1.4-percent estimate.