Inflation hits 7-month low of 5.1% in December

The country’s inflation rate fell to a seven-month low of 5.1 percent in December 2018.

The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported that last month’s inflation was the lowest since June 2018, driven by slower increments in the indices of food and non-alcoholic beverages and transport.

Inflation reached 5.2 percent in June, and surged to 6.7 percent in September and October and to 6 percent in November.

National Statistician and PSA head Lisa Grace Bersales said lower prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages, specifically rice, meat, fish and vegetables, mainly caused inflation to be lower in December.

In an interview, Bersales said the imposition of the suggested retail price (SRP) and labels for rice could have helped reduce rice prices.

She said the government also took efforts to flood the market with enough supply of rice to ease inflation, especially in the National Capital Region (NCR).

Bersales also attributed the inflation decline to slower annual increases in the alcoholic beverages and tobacco indices; housing, water, electricity gas and other fuels; furnishing, household equipment and routine maintenance of the house; and restaurant and miscellaneous goods and services.

The PSA said inflation in NCR further slowed down to 4.8 percent in December 2018 from the previous month’s 5.6 percent due to slower annual increases in the indices of food and non-alcoholic beverages, alcoholic beverages and tobacco, transport, and restaurant and miscellaneous goods and services.

Annual inflation in Areas Outside NCR also continued to move at a slower pace of 5.3 percent in December 2018 from 6.2 percent in November.PNA