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Inflation eased slightly to 3.2% in November

/ 05:43 AM December 02, 2017

Inflation likely eased to 3.2 percent in November as stable food prices tempered the faster increases in oil and power costs, the Department of Finance said Friday.

In a statement, the DOF said it expected the rate of increase in prices of basic goods last month to decline from 3.5 percent in October, a three-year high.

The DOF’s forecast for November, however, was higher than the 2.5 percent posted during the same month last year.

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The DOF’s computations showed that inflation of food and non-alcoholic beverages dropped to 2.9 percent last month from 3.6 percent in October, while that of alcoholic beverages and tobacco declined to 6.2 percent from 6.8 percent.

However, the year-on-year price increases in the following commodity groups were expected to have had inched up in November: Housing, utilities and fuels, up 4.2 percent from 4 percent a month ago; furnishings, household equipment, up 1.9 percent from 1.8 percent; recreation and culture, up 1.6 percent from 1.5 percent, and restaurant and miscellaneous services, 2.7 percent from 2.6 percent.

DOF data also showed that the Meralco rate per kilowatt hour for households consuming 200 kWh a month in November increased to P9.63 from P9.28 a month ago.

Also, the price of diesel per liter increased to P35.37 from P34.51 in the National Capital Region (NCR). The price of gasoline per liter in the NCR also went up to P48.44 from P46.89 a month ago.

Moving forward, “adequate supply of goods from higher production will further dampen inflation rise in the future,” according to the DOF.

Last Wednesday, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas said its department of economic research saw November inflation within the range of 2.9-3.6 percent.

“Higher domestic petroleum prices and electricity rates in Meralco-serviced areas could contribute to upward price pressures, which could be partly offset by the slightly stronger peso for the month,” the BSP said.

Average inflation is expected to remain within the national government’s target range of 2-4 percent for 2017, the BSP added.

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As of October, year-to-date inflation averaged 3.2 percent. —BEN O. DE VERA

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