CV Oct. inflation at 3%; consumer prices unchanged
DESPITE an uptick in national headline inflation last month, consumer prices in Central Visayas remained unchanged in October compared to September this year.
Data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) released Tuesday showed that the regional headline inflation rate was at 3.0 percent in October 2017, same as that in the previous month.
This was 0.5 points slower than that of the national figure, which stood at 3.5 percent last month, further accelerating from 3.4 percent in September.
“This is good for CV because this means that there is no upward movement in the prices of goods and services,” said Director Efren Carreon of the National Economic Development Authority in Central Visayas (Neda-7).
“This further means we have stable prices of commodities as of October this year. Our inflation rate is also well within the range set by BSP (Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas) at two to four percent,” said Carreon in a phone interview on Tuesday.
While the headline inflation in the Region VII remained the same, prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages rose by 3.3 percent from 3.1 percent month-on-month.
This was offset by prices of alcoholic beverages and tobacco which grew slower by 1.9 percent from 2.0 percent; clothing and footwear, unchanged at 0.6 percent; housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels by 4.6 percent from 4.9 percent; and health by 0.8 percent from 0.9 percent.
Regional inflation rates for the prices of bread and cereals, rice, as well as corn also remained unchanged during the covered period.
Jesa Mariel Parreno, a 22-year-old project manager at a local PR firm, said she hasn’t noticed any changes in prices of basic goods in October compared to September.
She only goes to the grocery whenever her supplies run out, which doesn’t happen often, and buys mostly noodles, things for her hedgehogs, tissue and other necessities.
Lawyer Niño Anthony Silvestrece, who goes to the supermarket every other week, also said he hasn’t noticed any changes in the prices of basic commodities.
The 27-year-old law practitioner mostly buys milk, food and toiletries during his trips to the supermarket.
Fastest increase rate
The PSA, a Neda-attached agency, reported that the national headline inflation rate stood at 3.5 percent in October, accelerating further from the 3.4-percent inflation rate one month prior and 2.3 percent in the same month last year.
“The year-on-year headline inflation at the national level further accelerated by 3.5 percent in October 2017,” the PSA said in a statement.
This development makes it the fastest rate of increase in prices of basic goods and services since the 3.7 percent posted in November 2014.
Higher fuel and food prices as well as a weaker Philippine peso were seen as the main drivers of the increase in national inflation.
Neda, in a statement, said inflation in the food subgroup reached 3.8 percent in October from 3.7 percent in September mainly due to faster price increases in corn, meat and vegetables.
According to Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia, Neda director general, this can be attributed to the lingering effects of Typhoon Jolina, Tropical Depression Maning and Typhoon Paolo.
Meanwhile, higher prices of meat can be traced to the import ban on Brazilian meat products, which is affecting domestic meat production costs, Pernia added.
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