Inflation accelerated in November due to ‘Yolanda’
MANILA, Philippines — Inflation accelerated in November to its fastest pace in nine months as Supertyphoon “Yolanda” (Haiyan) damaged agriculture and disrupted trade and other business activities in the Visayas.
The National Statistics Office reported Thursday that the annual inflation rate inched up to 3.3 percent in November from 2.9 percent in October, registering the fastest pace of increase in consumer prices following the 3.4 percent recorded in February.
The average inflation for the first 11 months of the year settled at 2.8 percent, which, nonetheless, was still below the full-year ceiling set at a range of 3 to 5 percent.
Arsenio Balisacan, director general of the National Economic and Development Authority, has said the latest calamity would cause inflation to speed up in November, and perhaps even in the few succeeding months.
However, Balisacan expressed confidence that the adverse impact on consumer prices would be short-lived and would not cause a breaching of the inflation target.
This was because of favorable supply conditions that have kept inflation below 3 percent in the previous months, Balisacan said.
He said areas hardest hit by “Yolanda” were expected to suffer a much faster rise in inflation in the immediate term.
He added that the government would implement measures that would help bring back the affected areas to normalcy.
Measures include coordination with business groups for the re-establishment of businesses in the affected areas to revive economic activities.
Data from the NSO showed that inflation in areas outside the National Capital Region (NCR) reached 3.8 percent, much faster than the 1.9 percent inflation for the NCR.
Food items were key drivers of the accelerated inflation, posting an average increase of 4 percent in November from 3.4 percent in October.
Other commodity groups that registered faster inflation rates were housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels (from 0.8 percent in October to 1.9 percent in November), furnishing and household equipment (from 2.2 to 2.3 percent), and transportation (from 0.5 to 0.7 percent).