Philippine inflation rate

Inflation slows to 4.9% in October 2023

Ralf Rivas

This is AI generated summarization, which may have errors. For context, always refer to the full article.

Inflation slows to 4.9% in October 2023

MARKET. A rice retailer at the Pasay City Public Market on September 5, 2023.

Rappler

(1st UPDATE) Average inflation from January to October stands at 6.4%, still far from the government's target band of 2% to 4%

MANILA, Philippines – Inflation dropped to 4.9% in October as lower prices of food contributed to downward price pressures.

The latest figure reported by the Philippine Statistics Authority on Tuesday, November 7, is much lower than the 6.1% recorded last September.

The slowdown was mainly due to a lower food inflation rate of 7.1% in October from 10% in September.

Inflation of the following commodities decelerated: rice (13.2% from 17.9%), vegetables (11.9% from 29.6%), fish (5.6% from 6.1%), bread and other cereals (7.4% from 8.1%), sugar (4.9% from 9%), and meat (0.8% from 1.3%).

“Rice inflation slowed down following the onset of peak harvest and import arrivals. The stable supply of vegetables as harvest season comes likewise resulted in a slower inflation rate of the commodity,” said National Economic and Development Authority Secretary Arsenio Balisacan.

In contrast, slight upticks were observed in clothing and footwear (4.8% from 4.7%) and housing, water, electricity, gas, and other fuels (2.6% from 2.4%).

Average inflation from January to October stands at 6.4%, still far from the government’s target band of 2% to 4%.

Still cautious

According to Balisacan, the government is monitoring the impact of moderate El Niño, which is expected to cause below-normal rainfall in the country and could strengthen until the second quarter of 2024.

Balisacan said the weather, alongside geopolitical uncertainties, may impact prices.

“It is important to ensure that the most vulnerable sectors of the society are protected and provided assistance, especially while food prices remain high and we expect El Niño to affect local and global food production,” he said.

Rising inflation was deemed as the reason for the double-digit drop in President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s approval rating in a Pulse Asia survey conducted in September.

Analysts said many Filipinos are feeling the burden of higher prices. – Rappler.com

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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.