Expensive vegetable, rice, and transport costs pushed up the country’s headline inflation rate to 5.3 percent in August 2023, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).
On Tuesday, National Statistician Claire Dennis S. Mapa said vegetable inflation reached 31.9 percent; rice, 8.7 percent; and transportation, 0.2 percent.
The latest inflation print is within the forecast of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) of 4.8 to 5.6 percent (full story here: https://businessmirror.com.ph/2023/09/01/bsp-rice-fuel-storms-drove-august-inflation/)
“Despite the ongoing challenges we encounter, such as severe weather conditions and trade limitations imposed by other nations, our objective remains to achieve an inflation rate between 2 and 4 percent by the year’s end,” National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan said.
Based on the data, this brings the national average inflation from January to August 2023 to 6.6 percent. In August 2022, inflation rate was higher at 6.3 percent.
Food inflation at the national level rose to 8.2 percent in August 2023 from 6.3 percent in July 2023. In August 2022, food inflation was lower at 6.5 percent.
PSA said food shared 53.9 percent or 2.9 percentage points to the overall inflation in August 2023. The highest contributors are Cereals and cereal products, which includes rice, corn, flour, bread and other bakery products, with 35 percent share or 2.9 percentage points.
This was followed by vegetables, tubers, plantains, cooking bananas and pulses, with 30.6 percent share or 2.5 percentage points and Fish and other seafood, with 13.4 percent share or 1.1 percentage points.
Core inflation, which excludes selected food and energy items, decelerated further to 6.1 percent in August 2023 from 6.7 percent in July 2023. This brings the average core inflation from January to August 2023 to 7.4 percent. In August 2022, core inflation was observed at 4.6 percent.
Image credits: Nonie Reyes/BM