Yolanda pushed up commodities’ prices, but 4.7% CV inflation still ‘within target’

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Saturday, January 11, 2014


CENTRAL Visayas’ annual average inflation rate for all items in 2013 slowed to 4.7 percent from 5.1 percent in 2012, the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) reported.

“In the Updated Regional Development Plan 2014-2016, we followed the inflation rate target set by the Development Budget Coordination Committee, which is between three percent and five percent. Central Visayas’ inflation rate of 4.7 percent, although the highest annual average inflation among the regions, is still within the target range,” Neda 7 OIC-Regional Director Efren B. Carreon said.

The inflation rate is the percent increase in the prices of goods and services commonly purchased by households, as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI). The sum of monthly inflation rates from January to December divided by 12 months is the average inflation rate for the full year.

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Inflation rate for all items stood at 4.6 percent in December 2013, accelerating from the 3.9 percent rate the previous month.

Contributing to the uptrend were higher annual increases in the indices of food and non-alcoholic beverages; clothing and footwear; housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels; health; transport, recreation and culture; and restaurants, miscellaneous goods and services.

Higher prices of LPG and kerosene pushed the index for housing and other fuels to 3.6 percent in December 2013 from 3.1 percent in November.

The transport index went up by 0.5 percentage points due to the general upward price adjustments in gasoline and diesel in December.

Among the food items, double-digit inflation rates were noted for rice (from 9.4 percent in November 2013 to 12.2 percent in December 2013), fruits (from 7.8 percent to 11.2 percent), and vegetables (from 6.6 percent to 11.3 percent).

Price hikes in banana, papaya and mango were observed. Among the vegetables that were priced higher were potatoes, cabbage, carrots, okra, onions and garlic.

“Food prices usually go up during the Christmas season. This, and the effect of typhoon Yolanda, raised prices of basic commodities,” Director Carreon explained.

Nevertheless, Central Visayas’ full year 2013 inflation rate managed to stay within the target.

Data released by the National Statistics Office (NSO) show that inflation rates for the other commodity groups either slowed down or stayed the same.

Commodity groups whose inflation rates slowed down in November and December year-on-year were alcoholic beverages and tobacco, and communication. Year-on-year inflation rates for the following commodity groups stayed the same: furnishing and household equipment and education. (PR)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 11, 2014.

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