Retail price index uptick in May slows on cheaper food


CHEAPER food prices slowed the increase of retail prices in Metro Manila in May 2023, according to the latest data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

Based on the General Retail Price Index (GRPI) in the National Capital Region (NCR), retail prices averaged 4.9 percent in May 2023, the slowest since June 2022.

This also marked the third consecutive month that the GRPI slowed. Retail prices in Metro Manila started to slow in March 2023 when it averaged 6 percent from 6.6 percent in February.

“The primary driver of the lower annual growth of GRPI in NCR was the slower year-on-year increase in the heavily-weighted food index at 10 percent during the month from 10.6 percent in April 2023,” PSA said.

PSA said another contributor to the downtrend of GRPI was the continued annual decline in mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials which contracted 12.8 percent in May 2023 from a contraction of 8.4 percent in the previous month.

The statistics body also noted slower annual increases in the indices of machinery and transport equipment at 1.3 percent in May 2023 from 1.5 percent in the previous month, as well as beverages and tobacco at 6.9 percent during the month, from 7 percent in April 2023.

Meanwhile, prices remained elevated due to higher annual increases in crude materials, inedible except fuels, 7.1 percent from 6.9 percent.

There were also higher increases in the price of chemicals, including animal and vegetable oils and fats at 3.5 percent from 3.3 percent as well as miscellaneous manufactured articles, 1.9 percent from 1.8 percent.

Meanwhile, the index of manufactured goods classified chiefly by materials retained its previous month’s annual rate of
2.8 percent.

The GRPI is a statistical measure of the changes in the prices at which retailers dispose of their goods to consumers or end-users relative to a base year.

The GRPI is an indicator used to monitor the economic situation of the retail trade sector. It is also used as a deflator of the National Accounts, especially on the retail trade sector and serves as a basis for forecasting business in retail trade.

Image credits: Alysa Salen