Inflation eases to 22-month low of 2.7% in June
MANILA, Philippines — Base effects, free tuition at state universities and colleges (SUCs), and lower rice prices pulled inflation down to 2.7 percent year-on-year in June, the slowest rate of increase in prices of basic commodities in 22 months.
Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) data released Friday showed that last month’s headline inflation rate was the lowest since the 2.6 percent posted in August 2017.
National Statistician Claire Dennis S. Mapa told a press conference that rice prices continued to decline, posting a 1.7-percent year-on-year drop to sustain the 0.9-percent decline in May.
Mapa said the Rice Tariffication Law being implemented since March, which slapped tariffs on all importation and liberalized rice trade, was a major contributor to lower prices of the Filipino staple food.
Education costs also declined 4.5 percent in June as students at SUCs have been enjoying the free tuition program, Mapa said.
Mapa later told reporters in an ambush interview that since it was in the second half of last year that inflation surged, the rates in the coming months were expected to be at around the same level as in June.
To recall, it was in June last year when the headline rate breached the 5-percent level amid higher excise taxes slapped on consumption, elevated global prices, and domestic food supply bottlenecks, especially of rice. (Editor: Mike U. Frialde)
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