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November inflation eases to 3.3%

Increase in food prices slowing as supplies normalize
By: - Reporter / @bendeveraINQ
/ 05:14 AM December 06, 2017
Nestor Espenilla Jr. —RICHARDA. REYES

Nestor Espenilla Jr. —RICHARDA. REYES

Inflation slightly eased to 3.3 percent in November on slower increases of food prices and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas on Tuesday said it expected to hit the 3.2-percent forecast for the year.

The Philippine Statistics Authority reported that the rate of increase in the prices of basic goods last month slowed from the three-year high of 3.5 percent in October, although it was faster than the 2.5 percent recorded in November last year.

As of November, headline inflation averaged 3.2 percent.

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“The easing of inflation in November was expected following October’s peak. We’re still on track with 3.2-percent inflation for 2017, just about the midpoint of the target range,” BSP Governor Nestor A. Espenilla Jr. said.

“Inflation during the last 11 months suggests that the full-year average might settle slightly above midpoint, but will still be well within our target of 2-4 percent. This already considers expected price spikes owing to holiday season spending this December,” Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia said in a statement.

The state planning agency National Economic and Development Authority noted that that the uptick in prices of food and nonalcoholic beverages eased to 3.2 percent in November, the slowest year-on-year increase in 14 months due to “lower prices of vegetables, sugar, jam, honey, chocolate and confectionery, fruits, oils and fats, and rice.”

“We are starting to see year-on-year price declines for ampalaya, cabbage, carrots, tomato, white potato and imported garlic in the National Capital Region. This signifies that supply is starting to stabilize again,” said Pernia, who is also the Neda chief.

On the other hand, inflation for nonfood items inched up to 3.3 percent last month from October’s 3.2 percent.

“Over the near term, we still expect risks coming from both domestic and external fronts. On the external front, higher international crude oil prices are anticipated following oil production cuts from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries until end-2018. On the domestic front, higher electricity rates and increasing coal and domestic fuel prices will also continue to exert pressures on headline inflation in the near term,” Pernia said.

Overall, however, the inflation outlook for full-year 2017 remains supportive of the current economic growth momentum of the country, according to Pernia.

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TAGS: Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, Business, Inflation
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