August inflation hits 7-month high of 3.8%By Ana G. Roa
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—Philippine inflation jumped to a seven-month high in August as prices of food, beverage, garments and utilities increased.
Documents from the National Statistics Office (NSO) showed annual inflation stood at 3.8 percent in August, the highest since January this year. The rate of increase in consumer prices was 4 percent in January, 2.7 percent in February, 2.6 percent in March and 3 percent in April. This fell to 2.9 percent in May and 2.8 percent in June before picking up to 3.2 percent in July.
“Inflation remains manageable but the government will remain vigilant against any undesirable trends,” said Emmanuel Esguerra, deputy director general of the National Economic and Development Authority.
Esguerra said the higher cost of electricity, gas and other fuels group could be “traced mainly to the increase in the generation charge of Manila Electric Co. by 25.5 percent to P6.7 per kilowatt-hour during the period, following the Malampaya pipeline shutdown that prompted Meralco to acquire its power requirements from more expensive sources.”
The latest inflation figure, however, showed a deceleration from the 4.6 percent in the same month last year.
The average inflation from January to August was 3.2 percent, well within the government’s target range of 3 to 5 percent for 2012.
Inflation in Metro Manila surged to 4.5 percent in August from 3.1 percent in July. Inflation in the provinces increased to 3.6 percent in August from 3.2 percent in July, the NSO said.
Excluding selected food and energy items, core inflation for the whole country went up to 4.3 percent in August from 4.1 percent in July.
Month on month, inflation rose 0.8 percent in August from 0.3 percent in July due to price increases in food items, particularly rice, meat, fish, fruits, vegetables and sugar. Prices of LPG, kerosene, gasoline and diesel also increased, NSO said.
Cid Terosa of the University of Asia and the Pacific said the threat of typhoons, higher oil prices and stronger domestic spending in the coming months were some factors that could exert pressure on prices.
Originally posted at 12:35 pm | Wednesday, September 05, 2012
Short URL: http://business.inquirer.net/?p=80436