Inflation rose to 3.2% in May, ending six months of decline
Philippine inflation rose to 3.2 percent in May for the first time after going down for six months after hitting a near-decade high in the third quarter of 2018.
"Philippine inflation went up by 3.2 percent in May 2019. This was the first time that it rose after six consecutive months of slowdowns," Philippine Statistics Authority ( PSA) Undersecretary Claire Dennis Mapa said in a press briefing on Wedneday.
PSA said May inflation rose by 0.2 percentage points from 3 percent last April. However, it is lower compared to the year-ago level of 4.6 percent in May 2018.
Main drivers for May inflation were food and non-alcoholic beverages as well as housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels with 3.4 percent and 3.3 percent annual rates.
Mapa said the impact of oil price hikes was not included in computing May inflation.
"We have not really computed the impact of this because we collect the data for the whole month of May. We're just reporting this as is," he said.
Items which mainly contributed to the uptrend were other cereal, flours, cereal preparation, bread, pasta and other bakery products at 3.7 percent; fish with 4.2 percent; fruits with 4.6 percent; vegetables with 12.5 percent; and food products, not elsewhere classified with 6.8 percent.
There was a slowdown in annual rates for alcoholic beverages and tobacco which was at 9.5 percent; transport at 3.5 percent; and restaurant and miscellaneous goods and services at 3.3 percent.
"Among the 11 major commodity groups, the top three contributors to the overall inflation were food and non-alcoholic beverages at 41.9 percent;housing, water, electricity, gas, and other fuels at 23.3 percent; and restaurant and miscellaneous goods and services at 13.3 percent," Mapa said.
Inflation was also reported to be higher in the National Capital Region at 3.4 percent from 3.1 percent in April this year and 4.9 percent in May 2018.
Higher inflation rate was registered in areas outside NCR with 3.1 percent compared to 3.9 percent in April and 4.6 in May last year.
"The highest annual rate among the regions in areas outside NCR remained in Mimaropa region at 4.7 percent in May 2019. This was higher than its annual rate in April 2019 at 4.6 percent," Mapa explained.
"Meanwhile, the lowest inflation among the regions in areas outside NCR in May 2019 was observed in Region VII (Central Visayas) and Region IX (Zamboanga Peninsula), both at 1.5 percent," he added. Cristina Eloisa Baclig/DMS