MANILA -- Prices of consumer goods dipped to 10-month low in September at 3.5 percent, beating government forecasts, the National Statistics Office (NSO) reported on Wednesday.

“The annual headline inflation rate at the national level decelerated to 3.5 percent in September from 4.0 percent in August due to the slower annual rate of price adjustments posted in all the commodity groups except in the housing and repairs (H&R) index. Inflation a year ago was 0.6 percent,” said NSO.

The September rate was lower than the Monetary Board’s target of 3.6 percent to 4.5 percent for the month. The new figure is also the lowest since the 2.8 percent annual inflation rate recorded in November 2009 and a drop from the four percent record last August.

Excluding selected food and energy items, core inflation also decelerated to 3.8 percent in September from 4.2 percent in August.

Inflation in Metro Manila eased to 3.5 percent in September from 4.5 percent last August, due the slowdown in the food, beverages and tobacco (FBT) and fuel, light and water (FLW) index.

Outside the metropolis, inflation was down slightly to 3.5 percent in September from 3.8 percent in August. This was effected by lower annual price increments in clothing, FLW and services index. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)