Inflation further rises to 2.9% in October

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The Philippine annual headline inflation further rose to 2.9 percent in October from the previous month’s 2.7 percent.

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Data from the National Statistics Office (NSO) showed that September inflation went up because of the uptrend in the prices heavily-weighted food and non-alcoholic beverages, and clothing and footwear. Inflation a year ago was 3.2 percent.

Meanwhile, annual rate in Metro Manila remained at 1.1 percent in October from a 0.1 percent as it was affected by the “mixed movements” in the annual growths among the commodity groups.

Food and non-alcoholic beverages indices recorded a higher annual rate while the indices of alcoholic beverages and tobacco; clothing and footwear; and health had slowdowns.

“The indices for housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels and transport had negative rates while the rest of the commodity groups retained their previous month’s rate,” the NSO data stated

In areas outside Metro Manila, annual inflation moved faster at 3.4 percent in October from 3.1 percent in September, as indices of food and non-alcoholic beverages; clothing and footwear; housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels; and recreation and culture effected posted higher annual growth.

Furthermore, the NSO data said that core annual inflation picked up to 2.5 percent in October from 2.3 percent in September.

On a monthly basis, the country’s consumer prices slowed down to 0.1 percent in October from 0.6 percent in September resulting from the lower charges in electricity rates together with price decreases in kerosene in many regions.

Contributing also to the downtrend were the price reductions in corn, cooking oil and selected in-season fruits in Metro Manila and some condiments and seasonings in many regions in areas outside Metro Manila

“Moreover, price increases in rice slowed down during the month due to the on-going harvest season of palay [unhusked rice],” the data said.

Inflation turn out for October was within the 2.8 to 3.6 percent forecast range of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) for the month. It was also lower than the 3-percent to 5-percent target band of the BSP for 2013.

MAYVELIN U. CARABALLO

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