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Inflation eases to 4.5% in March 2021 but gov't target still out of reach

Inflation slightly went down to 4.5% in March 2021, the Philippine Statistics Authority said on Tuesday, April 6.

It is lower than the 4.7% recorded in February 2021 but higher than the 2.5% in March 2020.

The latest figure is still beyond the government's target band of 2% to 4%.

National Statistician Dennis Mapa attributed the decline to stable weather conditions in previous months, slowing down price movements of vegetables, fruits, and fish.

However, Mapa noted that meat inflation remained high at 20.9%, with beef and chicken prices catching up with pork.

The cost of transportation in the country also stayed at elevated levels, with tricycle fares soaring by 47.5%.

Regions

Inflation in Metro Manila eased to 3.7% in March from 4.1% in February, as the rate of the increase in food prices slowed down.

Meanwhile, inflation in areas outside the National Capital Region also slowed down to 4.7% in March from 4.8% in February.

Bicol posted the highest inflation rate at 8%, while Central Visayas had the lowest at 1.5%.

Millions of Filipinos have been struggling amid the coronavirus pandemic, losing their jobs and finding it difficult to afford rising prices of goods.

With increasing COVID-19 infections and higher food prices, economists warned that the Philippine economy is "in a worrisome state."

The Duterte administration attempted to address soaring prices in Metro Manila by capping prices of pork and chicken, but this only resulted in higher prices in other regions. – Rappler.com

Ralf Rivas

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

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