Inflation for poorest went up to 4.8%

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State-run National Statistics Office (NSO)—under the consolidated statistical body Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA)—said on Tuesday that the inflation for the poorest households in the country or the bottom 30 percent of the population increased to 4.8 percent for the fourth quarter of 2013.

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The statistical body said that this was an “uptrend” on the consumer price index (CPI)—main indicator for inflation—from the 3.5 percent in third quarter and 3 percent recorded in fourth quarter 2012 caused by “higher mark-ups on heavily weighted food, beverages and tobacco [FBT] and in fuel, light and water [FLW] index.”

“The annual average inflation of the CPI for bottom 30-percent income households at the national level for the year 2013 accelerated to 3.7 percent from 2.9 percent in 2012,” the PSA added.

For the National Capital Region (NCR), inflation on the poor households went up to 3.5 percent in fourth quarter from the 1.1 percent in third quarter, attributable to higher annual growths of FBT and FLW prices.

“The annual average inflation in NCR for the year 2013 picked up 2.2 percent from 1.8 percent in 2012,” the statistical body said.

“Following the same trend, inflation in areas outside the NCR leaped to 4.8 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013 from 3.5 percent in the previous quarter due to higher annual increments in FBT and FLW indices as well. The annual average inflation for the year 2013 in [areas outside the NCR]climbed to 3.8 percent from 2.8 percent in 2012,” it added.

Overall, the PSA said that quarterly inflation rates jacking up were attributable to “higher prices in LPG [liquefied petroleum gas and increased charges in electricity rates” across regions in the country.

“Upward price adjustments in the heavily weighted food items such as rice, fruits, vegetables and fish were also noted,” the PSA said.

“Hence, the quarter-on-quarter inflation in the CPI for bottom 30-percent income households in the Philippines moved up by 1.6 percent in the last quarter of the year. This was, however, slower than the 1.7-percent growth recorded in the third quarter,” it added.

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