MANILA, Philippines – Inflation, or the increase in prices of widely used goods, slowed down to its lowest level in 4 months, slipping by 1% in February, on the back of lower gasoline and energy prices.
This was the lowest since the consumer price index went up to 1.1% in November 2015. (READ: Inflation kicks up to 1.1% in November)
The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said on Friday, March 4, that headline inflation in February fell to 0.9% from 1.3% a month ago.
The February inflation rate is within the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ (BSP) range forecast of 0.9% to 1.7% for the month.
The latest figure brought the year-to-date average inflation rate to 1.1%.
Similarly, core inflation – which excludes certain volatile food and energy items to better capture underlying price pressures – decelerated to 1.5% in February from 1.8% in the previous month.
Meanwhile, on a month-on-month seasonally-adjusted basis, inflation was steady at 0.1% in February.
The lower February inflation reading was driven largely by the decline in prices of selected non-food items.
In particular, non-food inflation eased due to lower gasoline and LPG prices and the reduction in jeepney fares in certain regions.
At the same time, food inflation also decelerated with the continued decline in rice prices relative to year-ago levels.
BSP Governor Amando Tetangco Jr said that the February inflation outturn continued to support BSP’s outlook of within-target inflation over the next two years.
“Looking ahead, the BSP will continue to monitor evolving price trends as well as developments on both domestic and global fronts to ensure price stability conducive to balanced and sustainable economic growth,” Tetangco said. – Rappler.com