Inflation hit new over 5-year high of 5.2% in June

By Inquirer.net |July 05,2018 - 09:01 PM

INFLATION jumped by 5.2 percent year-on-year in June, a new over five-year high, due to sustained elevated prices of food and “sin” products, the government reported Thursday.

In a report, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said the faster inflation last month was “primarily brought about by higher annual rate posted in the heavily-weighted food and non-alcoholic beverages index at 6.1 percent.”

In particular, prices of alcoholic beverages and tobacco climbed 20.8 percent in June; housing, water, electricity, gas, and other fuels, up 4.6 percent; furnishing, household equipment and routine maintenance of the house, up 3 percent; transport, up 7.1 percent; communication, up 0.4 percent; and education, up 4 percent, the PSA data showed.

Under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Act, the unitary excise tax slapped on cigarettes rose to P32.50 per pack effective January 1 from P30 a pack last year.

Also, the excise tax rates slapped on alcoholic drinks go up every year under the Sin Tax Reform Law of 2012.

Starting July, the unitary excise tax slapped on cigarettes will further rise to P35 per pack, as mandated under the TRAIN Law.

Improved tax compliance by Mighty products, now owned by Japan Tobacco International, had also been blamed by the DOF for pushing cigarette prices higher, as correct tax payments elevated the brand’s retail prices.

The food alone index rose 5.8 percent in June, due to the prices increases in rice (up 4.7 percent); corn (up 14.1 percent); other cereals, flour, cereal preparation, bread, pasta and other bakery products (up 2.4 percent); meat (up 5 percent); vegetables (up 8.6 percent); sugar, jam, honey, chocolate and confectionery (up 3.9 percent); and other food products (up 3.1 percent).

At the end of the first half of 2018, headline inflation averaged 4.3 percent, beyond the government’s 2-4 percent target range.

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