PH inflation keeps cooling in May at 6.1%

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 6) — The country’s inflation rate further dropped in May, resuming its downward trend for the fourth consecutive month after soaring commodity prices hurt consumers last year.

Data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed Tuesday that the inflation rate last month stood at 6.1%, slower than the 6.6% recorded in April.

May’s inflation rate is within the 5.8% to 6.6% forecast range of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas for the month.

During a briefing, National Statistician Dennis Mapa said last month’s inflation eased amid slower increases in prices of transport, food and non-alcoholic beverages, restaurants, and accommodation services.

Transport’s share of the deceleration alone was at 55.3%, driven by cheaper fuel prices.

Mapa said the latest figure has pushed the average inflation rate from January to May to 7.5%.

The capital region’s inflation rate also fell to 6.5% from April’s 7.1%.

The rate of increases in prices in areas outside Metro Manila likewise slowed to 6% from 6.5% in April.

The Mimaropa region logged the highest inflation at 7.2%, while the Cordillera Administrative Region had the slowest rate at 3.9%.

Asked if the massive oil spill contributed to faster inflation in Mimaropa provinces, Mapa said the elevated inflation was due to higher costs of transportation there.

Mapa also said inflation eased in all 16 regions outside Metro Manila.

“It’s on the downward trend. However, may risks pa rin tayo (there are still risks). One is on the food items,” he said.

The official noted the top five commodities under the food basket that contributed to inflation were rice, sugar, onion, bread, and egg.

He added that since 2022, authorities have been recording “slight increases” in rice prices.

On sugar, Mapa noted that while there was a dip in prices following importation, the drop was “not as fast as we want.”

In a separate statement, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) expressed optimism that the government can hit its inflation target in 2023 ranging from 2% to 4%.

“We are confident that we can achieve the government’s inflation target this year as we work closely with concerned government agencies in monitoring the primary drivers of inflation,” said NEDA Secretary Arsenio Balisacan.