THE country’s inflation rate continued to be on a downward trend, as it further slowed down to 6.1 percent in May 2023, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said on Tuesday, June 6, 2023.

Inflation rate, which refers to the percentage of the increase of prices of consumer goods and services at a certain period of time, stood at 8.7 percent in January, 8.6 percent in February, 7.6 percent in March and 6.6 percent in April.

This has brought the year-to-date average inflation rate to 7.5 percent.

May’s inflation rate, however, is still higher than the 5.4 percent recorded in May 2022. It was within the Bangko Sental ng Pilipinas’ projected range between 5.8 to 6.6 percent.

The PSA said 46 percent of the headline inflation, or 2.8 percentage points were from food and non-alcoholic beverage; housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels with 22.9 percent share or 1.4 percentage points; and restaurants and accommodation services with 13.1 percent share or 0.8 percentage point.

It said the continuous decline in the headline inflation was driven by the slower index of transport at -0.5 percent from 2.6 percent annual increase in the previous month; food and non-alcoholic beverages to 7.4 percent from 7.9 percent; and restaurants and accommodation services to 8.3 percent from 8.6 percent.

It also noted the lower annual rate of alcoholic beverages and tobacco index, which slowed down to 12.3 percent.

The main drivers to the downtrend of food inflation were fish and other seafood, with the annual growth that went down to 5.0 percent from 7.0 percent; meat and other parts of slaughtered land animals to 3.2 percent from 4.2 percent; and milk, other dairy products and eggs to 12.1 percent from 13.0 percent in the previous month. (SunStar Philippines)