Inflation up 3.4% in September due to higher food prices
INFLATION rose 3.4 percent year-on-year in September, a five-month high, which the government on Thursday mostly blamed on higher food prices due to weather disturbances that month.
The latest Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) data showed that the rate of increase in prices of basic goods last month matched the 3.4 percent posted in March and April as well as higher than the 2.3 percent recorded in September last year.
In a statement, the state planning agency National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) said food inflation inched up to 3.6 percent in September from August’s 3.5 percent, as prices of bread, cereals, corn, fish, flour, oils and fats, pasta as well as vegetables increased.
“The accelerated adjustments in food, particularly corn, fish, and vegetables, can be partly traced to the lingering effects of typhoon ‘Jolina’ and tropical depression ‘Maring,’ which caused damage to agriculture and fisheries in the Calabarzon region, particularly Quezon province,” Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia said.
Losses from “Maring” amounted about P77 million, Neda noted.
As such, “we must continue to strengthen the resiliency of communities not only to support low-income farmers but also to stabilize prices of agricultural commodities,” said Pernia, who heads Neda.
“This can be done through programs on increasing access to technology, improving access of agriculture products to trade partners, and upgrading credit programs to include crop insurance so farmers are able to recover from losses,” Pernia added.
Non-food inflation, meanwhile peaked to 3.1 percent, the fastest since February 2013, “due to faster year-on-year price adjustments in housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels, transport, restaurants, and clothing and footwear,” Neda explained.
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