PH inflation climbs to 8% in November

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, December 6) — Rising prices continued to haunt Filipino consumers, with the inflation rate in November accelerating to a record high in 14 years, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported on Tuesday.

Data from the PSA showed inflation rose to 8% last month, faster than 7.7% in October.

The latest figure is the country’s highest since November 2008, when the inflation rate soared to 9.1% amid a global financial crisis, Deputy National Statistician Divina Gracia Del Prado said in a media briefing.

However, the number is still within the 7.4% to 8.2% forecast range of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) for the month. Year-to-date inflation stands at 5.6%.

The PSA said the main driver behind the higher figure last month was the rise in prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages — a possible “spillover effect” of the typhoons that ravaged the country in October, according to Del Prado.

Among the biggest contributors in this commodity group were vegetables, tubers, rice, sugar, confectionery and desserts.

Restaurants and accommodation services also saw inflation quicken, along with furnishings, household equipment and routine household maintenance, official data showed.

The National Capital Region (NCR), on the other hand, recorded a lower inflation rate of 7.5% in November, from 7.7% the month before.

The statistics bureau primarily attributed this to a slower increase in housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuel prices. Transportation, as well as food and non-alcoholic beverages, in the region also logged slower rates last month.

"‘Yung dating matataas, ‘yung meat, fish and rice na talagang nag-affect nung pagtaas ng food sa NCR, now they are (on a) downtrend,” Del Prado explained when asked why trends in food inflation nationwide and in the capital region were different.

[Translation: Meat, fish, and rice in NCR – commodities with previously high prices which affected food inflation in the region – are now on a downtrend.]

Meanwhile, inflation in areas outside Metro Manila rose to 8% from 7.6% in October.

Only four out of 17 regions nationwide registered lower inflation, including Zamboanga Peninsula, Davao Region, Caraga, and the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).

Despite Davao Region being in that list, Del Prado said it still saw the highest rate among all regions nationwide at 9.7% last month, from the previous 9.8%. Meanwhile, BARMM had the lowest percentage at 6.0%, from 6.5%.

The PSA also said inflation for the bottom 30% income households in the country accelerated to 7.7% in November from 7.3% in October.

This yielded an average of 5.1% for 2022 so far. Unlike other rates, inflation for this income group still uses 2012 as the base year.

Earlier, the BSP adjusted its average inflation forecast for this year from 5.4% to 5.8%. In order not to exceed this, Del Prado said inflation in December should not breach 8.5%.