Inflation hits 28-month high of 3.4% in March
MANILA — Inflation rose 3.4 percent year-on-year in March, the fastest rate of increase in prices of basic goods in 28 months, due to higher prices of food and non-food items.
Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) data released Wednesday showed that headline inflation last month was the highest since November 2014’s 3.7 percent.
According to the PSA, prices of alcoholic beverages and tobacco rose 6.4 percent year-on-year last March; clothing and footwear, up 2.9 percent; housing, water, gas, electricity, gas and other fuels, up 4 percent; furnishing, household equipment and routine maintenance of the house, up 2.5 percent; and health products, up 2.8 percent.
“As we have said, our runs show that the path of monthly inflation shows upticks until about the third quarter of this year before slowly decelerating to average within the target range” of 2-4 percent for 2017, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Amando M. Tetangco Jr. said in a text message to reporters.
“While we don’t see any immediate need to tweak policy rate settings, we are watching the international oil supply picture, developments in the comprehensive tax reform program, geopolitical developments, among others. We will make adjustments if and when needed,” Tetangco said. SFM
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