Inflation or the rate of increase in the prices of goods was steady at 4.5% in April 2021, the Philippine Statistics Authority said on Wednesday, May 5.
The latest figure is unchanged from the March 2021 rate and more than double the 2.2% posted in April 2020.
Year-to-date, inflation settled at 4.5%, still beyond the government’s target range of 2% to 4%.
Food inflation slowed down to 4.8% in April compared to the 5.8% in March.
However, meat continued to be expensive, posting the highest increase of 22.1%.
National Statistician Dennis Mapa noted that pork prices remained elevated, rising by 57.7% at the national level and 68.5% in the National Capital Region.
Annual rates went down during the month in the indices of rice and vegetables at -0.3% and -2.6%, respectively.
Transportation continued to be pricey amid the coronavirus pandemic, with transport inflation rising to 17.9%. Tricycle fares rose by 48.4%, as the cost of petroleum and fuel rose by 32%.
Inflation in NCR was steady at 3.7%, while inflation in areas outside the capital region settled at 4.7%.
Bicol posted the highest inflation rate at 7.9%, while Central Visayas posted the lowest at 1.9%.
In a statement, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Benjamin Diokno said inflation staying elevated is consistent with their expectations, “owing to supply side pressures, before settling close to the midpoint of the target range in 2022.”
Diokno also said the recent cut in pork tariffs is seen to ease price pressures in the coming months.
Economists and debt watchers earlier warned that high prices, along with increasing COVID-19 infections, put the Philippine economy in a “worrisome state.”
The Duterte administration has acted on high food prices by setting a temporary price cap on pork and chicken, then introducing more imports to tame prices. – Rappler.com