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Poorest Filipino families hit hard by high food prices

/ 05:04 AM October 23, 2018

High food prices pushed up inflation among the country’s poorest families to 8 percent year-on-year in August, the government reported Monday.

The rate of increase in prices of basic goods among those belonging to the bottom 30 percent income households rose from 7.3 percent in July and 3 percent in August last year, the latest Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) data showed.

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Using the year 2000 as base, the consumer price index inflation rate for this consumer group that month was the highest since the start of 2014, according to available data on the PSA’s website.

“The indices of all the commodity groups posted higher annual rates during the month, except for fuel, light and water index whose annual increment slowed down to 10.2 percent,” the PSA said in a report.

For the food alone index, prices climbed 7.8 percent year-on-year in August from 6.9 percent a month ago and 3 percent a year ago.

In the National Capital Region (NCR), prices among the poor jumped 8.3 percent year-on-year in August from a month ago’s 7.6 percent and a year ago’s 4.7 percent.

In Metro Manila, the biggest month-on-month prices increases were posted in the following commodity groups: cereal preparations (up 3 percent), fruits and vegetables (15 percent), meat (7.2 percent), miscellaneous foods (7.9 percent), and rice (3.6 percent).

As for areas outside the NCR, the inflation rate for the bottom 30 percent income households also increased to 8 percent in August from 7.3 percent in July and 3 percent in August last year.

Except for the Eastern Visayas and Northern Mindanao regions, all other regions recorded faster price increases that month.

Food prices rose 7.3 percent and 7.8 percent year-on-year within and outside Metro Manila, respectively. —BEN O. DE VERA

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