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Inflation eases; Palace cites good governance

By: - Day Desk Chief / @umichaelNQ
/ 09:14 AM November 07, 2012

Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—Inflation further eased in October, with the inflation rate slowing to 3.1 percent, from 3.6 percent in September and 3.8 percent in August, marking a four-month low in the consumer price index (CPI).

Malacañang attributed the improvement to good governance and equitable and inclusive economic growth.

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“We have always maintained that good governance results in good economics. The effects of our reforms have already manifested in the lives of our countrymen,” said deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte.

“This is reflected in the exceptional public trust, satisfaction and support for the President and his administration,” she said.

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(Inflation refers to a general rise in the prices of goods and services. The CPI measures changes in the price level of consumer goods and services purchased by households. The annualized percentage change in CPI, the inflation rate, is used as a measure of inflation.)

According to Valte, the inflation rate in October was “markedly lower compared to the inflation rate in the same month last year, which stood at 5.2 percent,” and at the lower end of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ target of 3 to 5 percent.

Slowdown

She said the National Statistics Office (NSO) attributed the slowdown to “the deceleration in the annual increases recorded in the heavily weighted food and non-alcoholic beverages index and recreation and culture index.”

Inflation in the National Capital Region (NCR) also improved to 2.9 percent in October, from 3.5 percent in September.

Ten regions also registered slower inflation figures, she said.

According to Valte, the Philippines’ October inflation was the lowest among its neighbors in Southeast Asia: Vietnam (7 percent), Indonesia (4.6 percent) and Thailand (3.3 percent).

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The October inflation rate was well within the range of 3 to 5 percent set in the Philippine Development Plan for 2011-2016, and came on the heels of “upbeat consumer confidence and another all-time high” in the Philippine Stock Exchange Index, Valte said.

Improved rate

“The Aquino administration has consistently pursued equitable and inclusive economic growth. Ensuring a manageable inflation rate is part of this effort. This is reflected in the 3rd quarter Pulse Asia Ulat ng Bayan survey that indicated an 11-point improvement in the performance rating of the administration in controlling inflation,” she said.

The country experienced a seven-month high in inflation in August, but it eased the following month as price increases in garments, utilities and services decelerated.

The slowdown in the September inflation figure was also an improvement from the year-ago rate of 4.7 percent.

The average inflation from January to September this year was 3.2 percent.

Contributing also to the downtrend in inflation were the price decreases in food items such as fish, cooking oil and seasonings seen in many regions, together with the price declines in vegetables in NCR, the NSO said.

Benjamin Diokno of the University of Philippines School of Economics, has said the full-year inflation rate would likely be in the neighborhood of 3.2 percent, approaching the lower end of the official inflation forecast.

Diokno has called for accelerated public spending, especially for public infrastructure.

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TAGS: consumer price index, Inflation
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