The country’s headline inflation further eased to 2.4 percent in July 2019. This was the lowest inflation recorded since January 2017, and it was the same rate observed in July 2017.
Inflation in June 2019 was higher at 2.7 percent and in July 2018, 5.7 percent.
The downtrend was primarily brought about by the slower annual rate posted in the index of the heavily-weighted food and non-alcoholic beverages at 1.9 percent. In addition, slower annual increments were noted in the indices of the following commodity groups:
- Alcoholic beverages and tobacco, 8.8%;
- Housing, water, electricity, gas, and other fuels, 2.2%;
- Furnishing, household equipment and routine maintenance of the house, 2.9%;
- Health, 3.2%; and
- Transport, 0.7%
On the other hand, a higher annual increase of 2.6 percent was registered in the index of clothing and footwear during the month. Moreover, the annual growth of education index accelerated by 4.2 percent, compared with its previous month’s annual rate of -4.5 percent. The rest of the commodity groups retained their previous month’s annual rates.
Excluding selected food and energy items, core inflation continued to move at a slower pace of 3.2 percent in July 2019. In the previous month, core inflation was registered at 3.3 percent and in July 2018, 4.5 percent.
Relative to its annual rate in the previous month, food index at the national level posted a lower annual increment of 1.7 percent in July 2019. Its annual growth in June 2019 was observed at 2.6 percent and in July 2018, 6.8 percent.
The annual rate of rice index continued to decline as it dropped further by 2.9 percent during the month. Likewise, annual rates decreased in the indices of corn at -3.0 percent and sugar, jam, honey, chocolate and confectionery at -1.4 percent. Moreover, slower annual hikes were noted in the following food groups:
- Other cereals, flour, cereal preparation, bread, pasta and other bakery products, 3.3%;
- Milk, cheese and egg, 2.4%;
- Oils and fats, 2.5%;
- Vegetables, 3.4%; and
- Food products, not elsewhere classified, 6.7%.
Except for fish index, which retained its previous month’s annual rate of 3.8 percent, other food groups registered higher annual mark-ups during the month.
National Capital Region (NCR)
A downward trend in the inflation rate of NCR was, likewise, posted during the month as it recorded a slower annual increase of 2.3 percent in July 2019. Its annual rate was observed at 3.0 percent in June 2019 and 6.5 percent in July 2018. Compared with their annual rates in June 2019, annual hikes in the following commodity groups slowed down during the month:
- Food and non-alcoholic beverages, 2.5%;
- Alcoholic beverages and tobacco, 3.0%;
- Housing, water, electricity, gas, and other fuels, 1.7%;
- Health, 2.0%; and
- Transport, 1.3%.
The rest of the commodity groups either had higher annual gains or retained their previous month’s annual rates.
Areas Outside NCR (AONCR)
Following the same trend as in the national level and in NCR, inflation in AONCR decelerated further to 2.4 percent in July 2019. Inflation in the previous month was recorded at 2.6 percent and in July 2018, 5.5 percent.
Slower annual increments in July 2019 were observed in the following commodity groups:
- Food and non-alcoholic beverages, 1.8%;
- Alcoholic beverages and tobacco, 9.9%;
- Housing, water, electricity, gas, and other fuels, 2.6%;
- Furnishing, household equipment and routine maintenance of the house; and Health, both at 3.4%; and
- Transport, 0.6%.
Meanwhile, the annual rate of education index picked up by 4.0 percent after posting series of annual decreases. Except for the index of communication, whose inflation remained at 0.4 percent for four consecutive months now, the rest of the commodity groups had higher annual upticks during the month.
Compared with their annual rates in the previous month, inflation decelerated in nine regions in AONCR during the month. The lowest inflation among the regions was recorded in Region VII (Central Visayas) at 1.1 percent, while the highest remained in MIMAROPA Region at 4.9 percent.
Report from: Philippine Statistics Authority