Headline inflation could drop to a new all-time low of 0.3 percent this month due to cheap fuel, steady food prices and lower power rates, the Finance department said.
“Inflation rate this October may register another record low. DOF (Department of Finance) forecasts inflation this month to bottom 0.3 percent, 0.1 percentage point lower that of last month,” its latest Economic Bulletin stated.
“This comes amid lower electricity bills for October, continued low prices of fuel and stabilizing food prices,” the department added.
September’s 0.4 percent inflation was down from August’s 0.6 percent and the 4.4 percent recorded a year earlier. October inflation data is scheduled to be released on November 5 by the Philippine Statistics Authority.
The Finance department noted that diesel pump prices, at P26.28 per liter so far this month, were down from P26.10 in September. Abroad, West Texas Intermediate crude oil declined to $45 per barrel from $45.48 last month.
Food inflation, meanwhile, could decline to 0.5 percent this month from 0.8 percent in September, the department said.
It also pointed out that electricity bills as of October were down nearly 20 year-on-year and that fuel prices were still significantly lower compared to last year. Manila Electric Co. is implementing a 13-centavo per kilowatt-hour rate cut for consumers this month.
Offsetting these factors, meanwhile, are weather-related upside pressures on food and fuel prices, the Finance department said.
“The realization of higher actual inflation rate will most likely come from higher-than-forecast fuel prices and higher food prices due to weather disturbances like that of the ongoing Typhoon Lando,” it said.