Relaxed coronavirus rules push inflation up to 2.5% in June 2020

Ralf Rivas
(UPDATED) As the economy reopens with limited transportation options and physical distancing rules in place, tricycle fares soar in June

ECONOMY. A restaurant employee sets up acrylic dividers on tables for dine-in customers. Photo by KD Madrilejos/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The rate of increase in the prices of goods rose in June, as lockdown restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic were eased.

Inflation went up to 2.5% in June, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) on Tuesday, July 7.

The latest figure is higher than the 2.1% in May, but remained within the low end of the 1.75% to 3.75% forecast for 2020.

The year-to-date inflation now stands at 2.5%.

Transportation costs triggered the higher inflation in June.

Among all transportation options, tricycle fares rose the fastest in June at 26% from just 6.6% in May.

National Statistician Dennis Mapa said tricycle fares in the National Capital Region (NCR) registered a higher increase at 43.7% in June compared to May, and 129.3% when compared to June 2019.

Mapa said the increase was due to physical distancing guidelines and the lack of other transport options.

Overall, inflation in NCR rose to 3%, while inflation outside the capital region inched up to 2.6%.

Bicol registered the highest jump at 4.3%, while Eastern Visayas posted the lowest at 1.1%.

Higher inflation rates were also recorded in:

  • Alcoholic beverages and tobacco – 19.4%
  • Housing, water, electricity, gas, and other fuels – 1%
  • Health – 3.1%
  • Communication – 0.4%

June was the time when most areas, including Metro Manila, opened up more industries and businesses.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) expects inflation to average at 2.3% for 2020, 2.6% for 2021, and 3% for 2022.

“Domestic economic activity is projected to follow a U-shaped quarterly recovery path with output likely to contract further in the remaining quarters of 2020. Growth is expected to recover in 2021 once the impact of government policy support measures gains traction,” the BSP said in a statement on Tuesday.

“Meanwhile, the outlook for the global economy has further deteriorated with considerable uncertainty brought about by the magnitude and duration of containment measures across all economies.” –

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Ralf Rivas

A sociologist by heart, a journalist by profession. Ralf is Rappler's business reporter, covering macroeconomy, government finance, companies, and agriculture.