May inflation slower at 3.1%

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INFLATION in May decelerated to a four-month low of 3.1 percent, from 3.4 percent in April, but much faster compared with 1.6 percent a year earlier, data released by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) Tuesday showed.

The statistics office cited lower prices of food, beverage and tobacco.

Slower yearly increases were posted in the indices of the following commodity groups:

Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages (3.8%)
Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco (6.1%)
Clothing and Footwear (2.2%)
Furnishing, Household Equipment and Routine Maintenance of the House (2.3%)
Health (2.4%)
Transport (2.7%)
Communication (0.2%), and
Recreation and Culture (1.4%)


“The index for restaurant and miscellaneous goods and services however, moved up at a faster pace of 1.6 percent while the indices for housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels and education retained their previous month’s rates of 3.6 percent and 1.8 percent, respectively,” the PSA noted.

In the five months to May, headline inflation settled at 3.1 percent and core inflation at 2.8 percent.

The Department of Finance estimated that inflation would settle at 3.2 percent last month, and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas gave a range of 2.9 percent to 3.7 percent. Analysts polled by The Manila Times placed the May inflation between 3.1 percent and 3.5 percent.

Core inflation was also slower last month. “Excluding selected food and energy items, core inflation likewise eased to 2.9 percent in May 2017.  It was pegged at 3.0 percent in the previous month and 1.5 percent in May 2016,” the PSA said.

MAYVELIN U. CARABALLO

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