PH inflation rate continues to decelerate

PH inflation rate continues to decelerate

The Philippines experiences a downward trend in inflation for four consecutive months, with May 2023 recording the lowest year-on-year inflation rate since July 2022. Photo: PSA

TACLOBAN CITY –  The Philippines witnessed a sustained decrease in headline inflation, marking a significant achievement in the country's economic landscape. 

According to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), the inflation rate dropped from 6.6 percent in April 2023 to 6.1 percent in May 2023. This decline establishes the lowest year-on-year inflation rate since July 2022, while the average inflation rate from January to May 2023 stands at 7.5 percent.

Acknowledging the importance of maintaining stable prices, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) assures the public of a coordinated and proactive monitoring system. 

NEDA Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan expresses confidence in achieving the government's inflation target for the year, emphasizing close collaboration with relevant government agencies to monitor the primary drivers of inflation.

Recognizing the need for effective management of inflation and mitigating the impact of rising commodity prices, President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. recently signed Executive Order No. 28. This order establishes the Inter-Agency Committee on Inflation and Market Outlook (IAC-IMO), aiming to enhance government coordination in handling inflationary pressures.

Secretary Balisacan highlights the committee's comprehensive approach, which includes monitoring current trends and data on local and international prices, domestic production levels, import arrivals, climate outlook, and other crucial supply and demand information for key commodities.

The May 2023 data from the PSA reveals that the downward trend in headline inflation can be attributed to the annual decline in the transport index and lower inflation rates in food, non-alcoholic beverages, and the restaurant and accommodation services sector. However, furnishings, household equipment, routine household maintenance, recreation, sport, and culture experienced slightly higher inflation rates during the same period.

Meanwhile, the alcoholic beverages and tobacco index slowed its annual rate. Other commodity groups, such as clothing and footwear, housing, water, electricity, gas, and other fuels, health, information and communication, education services, financial services, personal care, and miscellaneous goods and services, maintained their previous month's growth rates.

Despite these positive developments, concerns arise regarding the potential impact of the upcoming El Niño phenomenon on inflation and food security. 

Secretary Balisacan assures the public that the government is taking necessary interventions to address the risks associated with potential increases in transport fares, wage adjustments, higher electricity rates, and domestic prices of key food items.

To mitigate the impact of El Niño, the government recommends ensuring an adequate supply of agricultural inputs, prepositioning pumps, promoting early planting in water-deficit areas, and maximizing production in non-threatened regions to safeguard food security and stabilize prices for Filipino consumers. —iTacloban (Source: PSA)

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