POST Online Media Lite Edition


Philippines inflation rate at 4-month low

Staff writer |
Consumer prices in Philippines unexpectedly rose 0.9% in February of 2016, slowing from 1.3% in January and well below market consensus of a 1.4% rise.

Article continues below

It is the lowest figure since November 2015, as cost of housing and utilities declined at a faster pace while food inflation eased.

Year-on-year, prices increased for : alcoholic beverages and tobacco (+4.9 percent in February from +4.7 percent in January), health (+1.9 percent from +1.8 percent), communication (+0.1 percent from +0.0 percent) and restaurant and miscellaneous goods and services (+1.5 percent from +1.4 percent).

In contrast, cost declined at a faster pace for housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels (-1.2 percent from -0.5 percent). Cost also fell for transport (-0.5 percent from +1.5 percent).

Prices of heavily-weighted food and non-alcoholic beverages slowed to 1.5 percent from 1.7 percent in the previous month.

While prices also eased for clothing and footwear (+1.8 percent from +2.1 percent), cost remained steady for: furnishing, households equipment and routine maintenance (+1.5 percent), education (+3.6 percent) and recreation and culture (+1.0 percent).

Core consumer prices rose 1.5 percent from a year earlier, down from 1.8 percent in the preceding month. It is the lowest figure in five months.

For 2016, the country's central bank targeted inflation between 2.0 percent to 4.0 percent.

On a monthly basis, consumer prices fell 0.3 percent, following a 0.2 percent rise in January. It is the first decline since September 2015. Prices dropped for: food and non-alcoholic beverages (-0.6 percent) and transport (-0.9 percent).

In contrast, cost rose for: alcoholic beverages and tobacco (+0.6 percent); clothing and footwear (+0.1%); housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels (+0.2%); furnishing, households equipment and routine maintenance (+0.2%), health (+0.3%), recreation and culture (+0.2%) and restaurant & miscellaneous goods and services (+0.2%).

Cost remained unchanged for communication and education.

What to read next

Economists trim the Philippines' inflation forecast to 1.9%
Philippines inflation jumps to 18-month high
Philippines SMI reports strong economic growth