Despite movement in consumer prices nationwide, the prices of goods in Central Visayas remained unchanged in November this year.
According to a report by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), regional inflation for November 2017 was recorded at 3.0 percent, the same as that in the previous month.
This was still 0.3 points slower than that of the national figure, which stood at 3.3 percent last month, decelerating from 3.5 percent in October.
Efren Carreon, director of the National Economic and Development Authority in Central Visayas (NEDA-7), said this means prices of commodities in the region remain stable.
“Our inflation rate is also well within the range set by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas at 2-4 percent,” he told Cebu Daily News.
While the headline inflation in Region 7 remained flat, prices of utilities (water, electricity, gas, and housing) increased to 4.8 percent from 4.5 percent.
Remaining flat were prices of alcoholic beverages and tobacco at 1.9 percent; clothing and footwear, 0.6 percent; and health, 0.8 percent.
Lower food prices slowed inflation in November 2017 following four consecutive months of acceleration, the NEDA said in a statement on Tuesday.
“Inflation during the last eleven months suggests that the full year average might settle slightly above midpoint, but will still be well within our target of 2 to 4 percent. This already considers expected price spikes owing to holiday season spending this December,” Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia said.
Inflation for food and non-alcoholic beverages eased to 3.2 percent in November 2017, lower than October’s 3.6 percent. This was the lowest rate recorded since October 2016.
This can be attributed to lower prices of vegetables, sugar, jam, honey, chocolate and confectionery, fruits, oils and fats, and rice.
“We are starting to see year-on-year price declines for ampalaya, cabbage, carrots, tomato, white potato, and imported garlic in the National Capital Region. This signifies that supply is starting to stabilize again,” Pernia added.
Meanwhile, non-food inflation slightly increased to 3.3 percent in November 2017 from the previous month’s 3.2 percent.
“Over the near term, we still expect risks coming from both domestic and external fronts,” he said.
On the external front, he said higher international crude oil prices is anticipated following oil production cuts from OPEC until end 2018.
On the domestic front, higher electricity rates and increasing coal and domestic fuel prices will also continue to exert pressures on headline inflation in the near term.
“Overall, however, the inflation outlook for full year 2017 remains supportive of the current economic growth momentum of the country,” the Cabinet official said.