July inflation drops to 0.8% – a new 20-yr low

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Philippine headline inflation marked its slowest pace in 20 years at 0.8 percent in July, dragged by lower food, energy and oil prices, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) said on Wednesday.

The inflation figure for the month matched the consensus forecast of analysts from five institutions polled earlier by The Manila Times, namely the University of Asia and the Pacific (UA&P), Metrobank Research, Security Bank Corp, global bank HSBC and the United Kingdom-based investment bank Barclays.

The rate also stood within the central bank’s forecast range of between 0.5 percent and 1.3 percent for the month.

July 2015 now marks a record low for the monthly inflation series from 1995, with 2006 serving as the current base year, the NEDA said.


Official data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed growth in consumer prices at 0.8 percent decelerated from 1.2 percent in June and 4.9 percent in July last year.

Excluding food and energy prices, core inflation eased to 1.9 percent in July from 2 percent in June and from 3 percent a year earlier.

From January to July, core inflation averaged 2.3 percent.  Including those prices, headline inflation for the year-to-date averaged 1.9 percent, falling below the 2 percent to 4 percent target range of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).

The PSA said negative annual rates were seen in the indices for housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels and transport.

“The indices of food and non-alcoholic beverages; furnishing, household equipment and routine maintenance of the house; health; and education also slowed down,” it added.    MAYVELIN U. CARABALLO

MC/NT

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