Inflation for poor driven up by high demand during holidays
High demand pushed prices of basic goods upward at a quicker pace in the last holiday season, driving inflation among the poor to a five month high of 2.6 percent.
But for the entire 2019, the annual national inflation rate for the bottom 30-percent income households slowed to an average 3.2
percent, down from 7.2 percent in 2018, the latest Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) data released on Friday (Jan. 24) showed.
The PSA report said price increases in housing and repairs, food, beverage, tobacco, fuel, light and water were lower in 2019 than 2018, though.
But price increases in services, clothes and miscellaneous items were higher in 2019 than 2018, the PSA report added.
In December alone, prices of food, beverage and tobacco rose by a faster 2.5 percent; services, 3.1 percent; fuel, light and water, 3.2 percent.
Food index, or the measure of changes in prices of a basket of commodities, rose 1.3 percent in December from just 0.4 percent in November.
Last December, prices of fruits and vegetables rose 7.5 percent; fish, 6.9 percent; eggs, 6.4 percent; miscellaneous food, 2.7 percent; meat, 1 percent and corn, 0.9 percent.
Prices of dairy products also increased 1.4 percent year-on-year but slower than in November.
Rice prices continued to drop with a 5.4 percent decline in December, the PSA report said.
National Statistician Claire Dennis S. Mapa last Thursday (Jan. 23) said the PSA starting in February will use 2012 as the new base year in measuring the consumer price index (CPI) for the bottom 30-percent income households, similar to the base of headline and core inflation at present.
The PSA currently uses the year 2000 as base of its inflation rate among poor families.
It will also release the January headline inflation rate and CPI for the bottom 30-percent income households both on Feb. 5.
Edited by TSB
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