Inflation amid the coronavirus pandemic stayed above the government’s target at 4.5% in May 2021, the Philippine Statistics Authority said on Friday, June 4.
The figure is also more than double the 2.1% recorded in May 2020.
The average inflation for January to May 2021 is at 4.4%.
The government aims to restrain inflation within the 2% to 4% target band, but higher meat costs, developments in the global oil market, and electricity rates have placed upward pressures on prices.
Increases in food prices slowed down to 4.6%, but the food index was still the largest contributor to inflation.
Inflation in fish, for instance, rose 7.8%, as galunggong, talakitok, mackerel, hasa-hasa, and lapu-lapu prices went up.
Meat inflation remained high at 22.1%.
Food prices have soared since the start of 2021, as the government failed to contain African swine fever, which had been spreading even before COVID-19.
With the ensuing pork shortage, consumers shifted to other products, effectively causing a spike in prices. (READ: Duterte signs EO lowering tariffs on imported rice)
Meanwhile, transport inflation eased, with tricycle fares slowing to 55.4% in May from 118.8% in April. Petroleum and other fuels also slowed to 26.9% compared to the 30.9% in April.
Inflation in the National Capital Region slightly dropped to 3.6% in May compared to the 3.7% in April, but inflation in areas outside the capital remained at 4.7%.
Economists and debt watchers earlier warned that high prices amid the pandemic-triggered recession would put the Philippine economy in a worrisome state. – Rappler.com