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PH inflation hits new high 

by Jericho Zafra

FILIPINO consumers will continue to bear the brunt of the rise in essential commodity prices as headline inflation climbed to 8 percent in November, the country’s highest since November 2008, the Philippine Statistics Authority said Tuesday.

The last record high was in October, when inflation hit 7.7 percent.

With the November inflation rate, the country’s average inflation rate for the year stood at 5.6 percent. In the same period last year, the rate was 3.7 percent.

The PSA said the higher inflation was due in part to the increase in prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages, which had an inflation rate of 10 percent from 9.4 percent in October.  

Also contributing to the uptrend are restaurants and accommodation services which had an inflation rate of 6.5 percent, up from 5.7 percent in October. 

Divina Del Prado, PSA’s Deputy National Statistician, said the typhoons that hit the country in October were the main drivers behind the increase in the prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages. 

“If we recall, diba myroon tayong typhoon towards the end of October. This is a spillover effect of the typhoon kaya yung vegetables natin, ito yung main driver of the increase in food and non-alcoholic beverages,” Del Prado said in a press briefing. 

The increase in food inflation was affected by higher annual growth rates in vegetables, tubers, plantains, cooking bananas, and pulses index, which was 25.8 percent, and rice index at 3.1 percent, she said. 

She also noted that the PSA recorded growth in food inflation of bakery and dairy products, fruits and nuts, sugar, confectionery and desserts, and ready-made food.

The PSA also said annual increases were also higher in the indices of the following primary commodity groups:

  • Alcoholic beverages and tobacco, 10.6 percent
  • Clothing and footwear, 3.6 percent
  • Furnishings, household equipment, and routine household maintenance, 4.5 percent
  • Health, 2.8 percent
  • Information and communication, 0.7 percent
  • Recreation, sport, and culture, 3.3 percent
  • Education services, 3.6 percent
  • Personal care, and miscellaneous goods and services, 4.2 percent

There were slower year-on-year increases in the indices of housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels at 6.9 percent, and transport at 12.3 percent, it said. 

The PSA also said it observed slower annual growths in indices of corn (27 percent), meat (8.6 percent), fish and other seafood (8.3 percent), and oils and fats (19.8 percent).

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