Inflation among poor hits 32-mo low of 2.3%
Price increases among poor families further eased and fell to a 32-month low of 2.3 percent year-on-year in August due to slower increases in food prices.
In a report Friday, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said that inflation for the bottom 30-percent income households last August was the lowest since the 2.1 percent posted in December 2016.
In August, “compared with their annual rates in July, all commodity groups had slower annual increments during the month, except for the indices of housing and repairs and services, which retained their previous month’s annual rates of 4.5 percent and 3.3 percent, respectively,” the PSA said.
Food inflation declined to 1.8 percent year-on-year last month from 8.2 percent a year ago and 2.7 percent a month ago.
Prices of corn and rice dropped by 1.9 percent year-on-year last August, the PSA said.
“Except for cereal preparations and eggs, the indices of other food groups registered slower annual increases in August,” it added.
Average prices among poor households living in the National Capital Region (NCR) declined by 0.1 percent year-on-year.
Outside NCR, inflation among the bottom 30-percent income families slowed to 2.4 percent from 3.1 percent in July and 8.3 percent in August last year.
As of end-August, inflation among poor households nationwide averaged 4.2 percent year-on-year, down from 6.4 percent a year ago.
The consumer price index (CPI) for bottom 30-percent households was based on 2000 prices as base year.
The headline inflation rate based on 2012 prices fell to a 35-month low of 1.7 percent year-on-year in August mainly as rice prices fell.
Prices of the Filipino staple food slid for the fourth straight month last August, dropping 5.2 percent year-on-year.
“The Rice Liberalization Act continues to help increase rice supply in the country. This allows more Filipinos to access cheaper rice. This is especially helpful since a large number of families spend almost 30 percent of their total food expenditure on rice,” Neda Undersecretary Rosemarie G. Edillon had said.
Based on Neda’s monitoring, domestic retail and wholesale rice prices declined by 10 to 13 percent year-on-year to date, equivalent to a price reduction of P4.20-5.20 a kilo.
Neda had attributed the drop in rice prices to higher inventory.
However, some groups have urged the government to monitor rice imports and check warehouses of traders to prevent hoarding and allow prices of rice to fall to their actual market-determined levels.
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